THE uncle of a teenager who lost her life in the Grenfell disaster is marking the upcoming anniversary by doing a special walk to highlight the plight of ‘families who still don’t have justice’.
Manfred ‘Manny’ Ruiz – who has lived in Stroud over the last decade – is marking the five-year anniversary by doing a 162 mile walk from Kemble to the site of the tower in west London.
He aims to do the walk in five days, to arrive in Grenfell just before the anniversary of June 14.
This comes as his niece known as Jess died in the horrific tower block blaze in west London in 2017.
Manfred’s niece was two weeks away from her 13th birthday when she and 71 others lost their lives after combustible cladding on the 24-storey block caught fire.
Manny was at home in Stroud, watching the horror unfold on the television, unaware that Jess was in danger.
Ever since, Mr Ruiz has undertaken several fundraising efforts, such as a swimathon and two London marathons, raising over £13,000 in the process for charities who have helped survivors.
He has also been recently supported by football club QPR – Manny featured in May’s Grenfell Memorial Cup held at Loftus Road.
Leaving Kemble on Thursday, June 9, Manfred will walk 162 miles to raise money for both the Grenfell Foundation and Kids on the Green.
“I am doing this walk because five years have passed and the families still don’t have justice,” said Manny.
“I am hoping to raise money for the two organisations that have worked tirelessly since the day of the fire to help the local community.
“I want to thank everyone who has donated so far.
“Those who died in the tragedy are forever in our hearts.”
Kids on the Green is a local grassroots organisation which supports families, young people and children through art therapy.
The Grenfell Foundation is a charity which was set up to support the bereaved and survivors from the fire.
It wants to provide support and assistance to the generations affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy for years to come.
The foundation funds services and equipment that support the bereaved and survivors.
To support Manny’s fundraiser, visit – https://bit.ly/3NVeEVI