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Sudbury glass artist's fundraiser tops £1,400 to help victims of devastating industrial explosion in Lebanon





A Sudbury glass artist has commended the community’s support after raising vital funds for victims of a devastating explosion in the Middle East.

The incident, which took place in Lebanon, at a port in Beirut, earlier this month, claimed the lives of around 220 people, with hundreds more injured in the blast and approximately 300,000 individuals left homeless following the disaster.

After hearing about the explosion, Mrs Hatley’s thoughts immediately turned to those affected by the incident.

Glass artist, Gail Hatley, has raised over £1400 to support those affected by the explosion in Beirut. She hosted a raffle and sale outside her home to raise funds..Pictured: Gail with sister Adrienne Davies who helped out o n the day...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (41156842)
Glass artist, Gail Hatley, has raised over £1400 to support those affected by the explosion in Beirut. She hosted a raffle and sale outside her home to raise funds..Pictured: Gail with sister Adrienne Davies who helped out o n the day...PICTURE: Mecha Morton.. (41156842)

“When I saw it on the news, I was absolutely shocked by the explosion and the effect it would have on the people and the hospitals,” said the 56-year-old.

“Many people have been left homeless and the economy hasn’t been managed very well.”

The disaster reignited memories for Mrs Hatley’s husband, Kevin, who worked in security in the city for six months, after leaving the Army in his twenties.

Keen to support the country in some way, Mrs Hatley hosted a car boot-style event and raffle outside her home in York Road on Thursday, which raised £1,410.60 in aid of the British Red Cross, which has launched a major fundraising appeal.

Members of the public donated a range of items, including jewellery, bottles of spirits and fresh produce, while Mrs Hatley contributed some glass work, which was showcased at the event and offered as raffle prizes.

Other donated goods included hand-crafted crocheted blankets and preserves.

A group of musicians from Long Melford Folk Club entertained visitors during the event with a range of music.

Delighted by the public’s generosity, Mrs Hatley said: “It was so heart-warming. The community came together and it was fantastic.

“I got talking to some neighbours who I hadn’t spoken to before.

“Some people were on their way to work and popped by the stall.”

To make a donation to Mrs Hatley’s fundraiser, email gail.bushell@btinternet.com.