Responding to the disaster together

Spirit in adversity - the Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society members were trying to keep as much as they could above the water
Spirit in adversity - the Todmorden Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society members were trying to keep as much as they could above the water

COMMUNITY spirit was shown in time of adversity during and after last Friday night’s flooding.

Help was offered by organisations on the night and in the immediate aftermath.

A Facebook group set up by Rob Holden in the immediate aftermath of the flooding has allowed quick exhcnages of people offering help and those who require it.

Rob says: “On Friday night after travelling to my home in Sowerby from Walsden and witnessing some of the dreadful damage caused by the floods I decided that I wanted to try and do something to help the victims of the flood. I setup a Facebook group with a view to it being a hub for people who needed help and people offering their help/services.

“The group at the moment numbers some 1400 members at this point in time; many of these members are offering their time or furniture/household goods. So many members of the community are pulling together to help their neighbours,” he said.

The address of the group is http://www.facebook.com/groups/311791578914796/

On Monday the Vicar of Todmorden, Coun Owen Page, convened a meeting attended by around 100 people including residents who had been affected by the flooding, and representatives from the Environment Agency, the police and fire services, and Calderdale and Todmorden Town Councils.

Todmorden Lions have also begun a relief fund to which people can contribute, and the Community Foundation for Calderdale have made some money available to help people in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge in the immediate aftermath of the flood.

Canon Page said: “Looking on things like Facebook and Twitter there were so many people on there offering help and people asking for help, really hurting. We decided to offer a meeting for people to share their stories and what resources they could offer.

“More than 100 people came, we had an overwhelming response, with the agencies and councils as well as people involved in small and medium sized charities, and above all people who had been affected. We had a long talk about the causes, and there were some strong questions, then we moved on to sharing stories and talked about what people need and who can meet that need,” he said.

Canon Page said it was hoped to reconvene in about three weeks’ time to progress help and advice.

Todmorden Lions have set up a flood appeal to help people in the town financially, said Lion Rod Wainwright. “There are a lot of people who haven’t got, or can’t afford, insurance, ao as a local communityb group we are trying to do something for them,” he said.

Donations can be made at Lloyd’s Bank, Todmorden - they should be made to the Todmorden Lions account, saying it is a donation for the flood appeal.

Rod said the Lions hoped to put posters and collecting boxes around the town and they had already received a donation of £600 from the Lions’ Yorkshire District. They had also applied to Lions International for grant help and hoped to get help from other Lions clubs. To contact the Lions on 01706 816802 or 819200.

An emrgency fund has also been made available by the Community Foundation for Calderdsle, whose chief executive Steve Duncan visited Hebden Bridge and Todmorden early on Saturday morning.

A spokesman said: “Severe flooding across Calderdale has wreaked havoc and as such the Community Foundation for Calderdale has launched a fund of £10,000 for individuals and community groups who have been affected by the floods in Calderdale. The public seem to want to help in any way they can - we would ask that any one wanting to be part of the clean up operation donates to the fund via http://localgiving.com/charity/CFFC - all support will be greatly received - please spread the word and tweet us your support at @CalderdaleFound and on face book at wwww.Facebook.com/communityfoundationcalderdale”