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Editor's comment: You can't legislate for a lightning strike

PUBLISHED: 15:00 02 June 2018

A flat in Princes Road, Romford was severly damaged by a fire caused by a lightning strike on Sunday, May 27. Photo: Elaine Henson

A flat in Princes Road, Romford was severly damaged by a fire caused by a lightning strike on Sunday, May 27. Photo: Elaine Henson

Archant

The storms at the weekend and Tuesday showed us something of the sheer power of nature.

For some of us it was either a bit annoying because the rolling thunder and lightning flashes kept us awake. For others it was a spectacular light show.

There may have been a few, like me, who ended with a puddle on the floor where a French door leaked in the driving rain.

But for one family the weekend storm was one they will remember all their lives because it cost them all their possessions when the Romford house they were living in was struck by lightning and caught fire on Sunday.

There, but for the grace of God, go any one of us. You can’t legislate against a freak of nature like that.

But if there’s one thing we know about the people of this borough, it’s that they are quick to help when misfortune strikes.

And so Paul and Anna Robinson have found friends and neighbours rallying round.

They have been inundated with soft toys for two-year-old Jasmine.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Hornchurch provided hot meals.

Friends in Southend have let the family move into their home while they are on holiday.

And Elaine Henson has set up a crowdfunding page to raise £3,000.

So if you have a few quid to spare, please think about donating it to help the Robinsons.

They have lost their clothes, phones, passports, furniture, even their pots and pans.

The controversial PIP benefits system has left hundreds of disabled Havering people struggling and we talk to three of them in our feature on pages 12 and 13 highlighting the problem.

There is clearly something wrong with a system when nationwide 65per cent of those who challenged the DWP because they were denied benefits won their cases and had their assessments overturned.

We have to remember that not all disabilities, or conditions which make it impossible to work, are visible.

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