29th November 2016
TWELVE months after being hit by devastating floods, many residents are still struggling to rebuild their lives, says the charity head responsible for managing the Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal.
Andy Beeforth of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “Grants can replace essentials, but returning home is just the start of recovery for many residents.
“The stress and anxiety people are still suffering is considerable. We have seen families living apart, people losing their jobs – and even made homeless. The floods have sadly put people under considerable strain. We know our current and future grant making, fueled by people’s generosity, contributes to helping people recover and rebuild both practically and emotionally.
“The need for support continues. We know that 700 families are still not back home and that this does not reflect the full situation, as some people remained living in their flooded homes, some are underinsured and those that have returned home report still having to deal with many issues.
“The generosity of people and organisations has made an enormous difference to how much we can help residents rebuild lives that were devastated last December,” he said.
More than 2,700 households and 130 community projects have received financial support. Andy continues: “As well as giving grants for essential household items, our whole ethos is to be helpful, supportive and understanding of people’s circumstances.”
“The Cumbria Flood Recovery Appeal has been a success because of the generosity of people who gave money. We are fortunate to live in such supportive communities. I can only say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the Appeal, including government, it is only through their support that we have been able to help so many floods affected people.”
Storm Desmond caused significant damage and disruption to more than 6,000 households and businesses across tight knit rural communities and our larger towns and cities. As winter approaches the health and emotional impact of the flood is becoming more apparent and the appeal is investing in projects to support people’s emotional wellbeing.
Over the next few months the appeal will continue to make household hardship awards and support groups affected by the floods. It has increasingly invested in resistance and resilience measures for both households and communities, to help minimise the extent of damage in the future, increase the sense of wellbeing and confidence in the present and help people be better prepared. With so much ongoing need the Foundation is confident it will spend all the remaining funds.
“Looking ahead we know that lessons have been learnt and that communities are working hard to be better prepared for future flooding,” said Andy.
Cumbria Community Foundation’s flood recovery appeal has raised £10.3 million for individuals, families and communities affected by the December 2015 floods, of which £7m has been awarded in grants.