WELL-WISHERS moved by the tragedy of the six children who perished in a house fire turned out to support a fundraising walk which will help pay for their funerals.
Around 30 people shaking donation buckets and wearing campaign tee-shirts passed through the area on Saturday to raise cash following the Derby blaze, which made headlines around the world nearly two weeks ago.
The money generated will be presented to Oscar, the approved organisation through which all official events are being passed, for the children’s burial and to help parents Mick and Mairead Philpott, from Allenton, Derby, get back on their feet.
Participants also passed through Allestree and Heage during a 16- mile trek from Alfreton to Derby in a bid to generate hundreds of pounds for the fund.
Anthony Slater, from Oscar, said: “The response from the community has been nothing short of overwhelming. It shows how strong the community is here in this part of Derby and further afield.
“Quite often people keep themselves to themselves, but this tragic event has helped unite them in their grief and support for Mick and Mairead.
“Everyone in the area knows Mick, Mairead and the children and everyone knows how much he loved not just his own children, but other people’s children too.”
Five of the children aged between five and 10 died in the early hours of Friday, May 11, after the blaze at a property on Victory Road in the Allenton area.
A sixth child, 13-year-old Duwayne Philpott, died in hospital two days later.
Derbyshire Police have confirmed the fire was started deliberately and the deaths of Jade Philpott, 10 and her brothers John, nine, Jack, seven, Jessie, six, and Jayden, five are being treated as unlawful.
Hulland Ward mother, Rachel Henson, whose four children died in a horrific fire, said this week she would be prepared to meet Mr and Mrs Philpott.
She also revealed she was five months pregnant and felt her news could offer a “glimmer of hope” to the couple. Her children, Tommy, nine, Alisha, six, Rocco, four, and Appolonia, two died in a fire in January last year.