Stevenage pals’ appeal for Greece wildfire victims ahead of Rhodes move

PUBLISHED: 14:36 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:19 26 July 2018

Buildings burn in the town of Mati, east of Athens. Picture: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

Buildings burn in the town of Mati, east of Athens. Picture: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Two Stevenage pals who are about to emigrate to Greece are raising funds to support people affected by deadly wildfires that are ravaging the country.

Stevenage fundraisers Stuart Hubner and Maxi Wild. Picture: Maxi WildStevenage fundraisers Stuart Hubner and Maxi Wild. Picture: Maxi Wild

Stuart Hubner and Maxi Wild are moving out to the island of Rhodes next month to run a bar, and want to do as much as possible to help people affected by the disaster on the mainland.

At least 80 people have died during the wildfires near Athens, which are the deadliest on record in Greece. On Tuesday, the bodies of 26 adults and children who apparently died embracing each other were found on top of a cliff.

Maxi told the Comet: “Greece is now our home, and watching it fall to the ground is truly heartbreaking.

“The fire is out of control and has so far caused millions of pounds worth of damage and taken over 80 lives.

A Greek flag flutters over the charred remains of a burned-out car and house in Mati, east of Athens. Picture: AP/Thanassis StavrakisA Greek flag flutters over the charred remains of a burned-out car and house in Mati, east of Athens. Picture: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

“People are having to sleep on the street and watch as their homes get flattened by this inferno. We have seen that they are not getting much help at all, so we have decided to step up to the mark.

“We are planning on helping in many other ways than just raising this money. We are liaising with businesses in Greece to work something out.”

Stuart and Maxi are going to run a bar in Lardos called The Grapevine, in whose name the online fundraiser has been set up. Money raised will go directly to a bank account in Greece set up for this purpose by Piraeus Bank.

They have set an initial target of £5,000, which they will raise accordingly as money is donated.

A firefighter sprays water on the fire in the town of Mati, east of Athens. Picture: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)A firefighter sprays water on the fire in the town of Mati, east of Athens. Picture: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)

On their fundraising page, Maxi wrote: “Raised monies will go towards funeral costs for those who fell victim to the fire, removal of everything that has been gutted by it, and rebuilding the affected areas.

“Every penny helps, so please help – no matter how big or small the donation.”

Big-hearted Maxi is an old hand when it comes to charity work and doing his bit for others. He has been a member of the Give Back to Stevenage initiative – whose volunteers have helped find homes, distribute care packages and feed needy families.

He and Stuart have also been a key figures in the Herts Angels charity that has organised Easter treats and Christmas cheer for children and older members of the community in Stevenage.

If you’d like to support The Grapevine’s Greek fire appeal, see gofundme.com/greek-fire-appeal.

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