08:48AM, Wednesday 09 January 2013
Devastating bush fires which have ripped through people's homes in Australia have led the deputy mayor of the Royal Borough to start raising money for the victims.
Cllr Andrew Jenner has organised a series of coffee mornings to help raise valuable cash for those affected by the Tasmania bush fires which started on Sunday.
The deputy mayor is no stranger to the Australian state having lived there for large parts of his life, most recently from 1984 to 1992.
He still has relatives living on the island, including his brother Steven.
For the past few days the cafe owner has been in constant touch with his family to make sure they are safe.
"It is very much a part of our lives and we have lots of family and friends there," he said.
"You cannot put into words how big these things are. We are not used to fires here."
Ahead of a scheduled trip to the island next month, the charitable councillor is now inviting people to attend coffee mornings at Jenners Riverside Cafe in Ray Mead Road.
They will take place each Friday in the lead up to his trip and will offer people the opportunity to donate money to the cause.
The total raised will then be matched by the deputy mayor.
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