Appeal launched to help victims of Cumbria floods

By Rachael Grealish

An appeal has been launched by the Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) to help the communities who are victims of the today’s floods.

This is Appleby where the River Eden burst and caused flooding. -Photo submitted.

This is Appleby where the River Eden burst and caused flooding. -Photo submitted.

The CCF kicked of the £1m campaign with a £50,000 donation from its own funds and are now asking people to donate generously to the cause.

Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We are still in the eye of the storm, but we know that it appears the flooding is worse than in 2009 in some areas of the county. People will need financial help to rebuild and we want to have the means to do that.

“It is difficult to assess the scale of the need, but we know that the flooding will cause significant financial hardship and emotional distress. We will be convening meetings with the major voluntary groups involved in the recovery and also with major providers of social housing to assess the impact on their tenants.”

Storm Desmond is the fourth named storm to hit Cumbria in the last few months.

It has caused severe damage across the county and left Keswick and Cockermouth under several feet of water.

Mr Beeforth said: “This is our third flood appeal, the first was in 2005.  The second in 2009 raised £3m – all of which went back into rebuilding our devastated county.”

The Flood Recovery Fund 2015 is open to anyone whose home has suffered significant structural damage or flooding or people who have lost work or income because of the storm or flood.

It will provide support for – cleaning up, emergency repairs, clothing, food and drink, heating and heating equipment, child care equipment and basic furniture.

Priority will be given to households who have people over the age of 70, under the age of five, people with physical or learning difficulties or mental health needs or on a low income.

It will not normally fund – people who are fully insured, vehicles and businesses.

Initial hardship grants of £500 can be applied for, details will be released on Monday 7th December.

The Foundation learned many lessons from running previous appeals:

  • The importance of a dedicated fund to secure and distribute financial support to community groups and individuals
  • The important role voluntary and community organisations play in supporting communities during times of need
  • How valuable small grants are in providing both financial and emotional support to individuals experiencing hardship
  • How wide ranging and long lasting the emotional impact of such a disaster can be to individuals
  • The impact on voluntary and community organisations during times of need (loss of income, opportunities to expand services and respond to need)

There will be two phases to the support people will require:

Phase one: immediate support for individual grants for households in priority groups (over 70s and under 5s and people with disabilities) and those without contents insurance (and occasionally buildings insurance). Group grants to front line services such as Red Cross, Citizens Advice Bureaux, Law Centre, furniture and white goods recycling and activities for children and young people.

Phase two: supplementary support: Individual grants for households whose income has been affected over a long term period and households who have continued to experience increased household expense due to relocation resulting from the flood. Group grants to organisations who have suffered damage to their property, those providing emotional support and counselling and community celebrations once residents have returned to their properties.

To give to the appeal online by going to Just Giving:http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/cumbriafoundation/cumbriafloodappeal2015  r by sending a cheque made payable to Cumbria Community Foundation and sent to CCF, Dovenby Hall, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0PN, or send a text to 70070 with the message ‘FLUD15’ and a monetary amount. For example, ‘FLUD15 £10.’