London Fire Brigade

Harrow Fire Station opens its doors to the borough's local Gurkha community

13 March 2015

Borough Commander, Richard Claydon, explains how his firefighters are engaging with the local Gurkha community:

"On Thursday, 12 March it was our pleasure to open the doors to Harrow Fire Station to the borough’s local Gurkha community.

"This was organised in partnership with the charity CRI, which is working to help Gurkhas settling in London to adjust to living in new communities. It was also an opportunity to network with the Gurkha support groups to enable work like this to continue.

"The day was run because, working with CRI, it was apparent many from the community did not know what support was available to them from us and partners such as the NHS and Harrow Council.

"It was also apparent the community would greatly benefit from fire safety in the home and crime prevention advice.

"Over 60 members of the local Gurkha community attended the day with a wide range of partner agencies attending including the Met Police, NHS Harrow, Age UK, Citizens Advice and local colleges.

"The day was brought to an action packed finale with crews from Harrow blue watch treating the visitors to a display drill in the station yard.

"It was a fantastic day; a great opportunity to work with a community that we’ve not engaged with in the past and who have greatly benefitted from all the support that's been offered by all of our partners.

"It's also been a great opportunity to work in partnership with Gurkha support groups to plan taking this forward in other boroughs."

Harrow Fire Station, which has the callsign G21, opened its doors to the Gurkha community to share fire safety advice.

More than 60 people attended the open day, which was in partnership with the charity CRI, which helps Gurkhas settling in London to adjust to living in new communities.

Retired Gurkha Captain, Motilal Thapa, said: "The day has been beyond our dreams and we thank Richard and all of those that gave their time to talk to us for offering this day to our community. It has been very valuable and we have learnt a lot."

There are an estimated 40,000 Gurkhas living in London mainly based in the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Greenwich, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow and we hope that engagement days like this will be offered in all of them.

Partner organisations such as the Met, Harrow Council and NHS Harrow also attended.