Shops away for flood fund raising

Helping out: Lisa Okonkwo, Mayor Lisa Lambert, Jason Gregg and Jo Woodhead

Helping out: Lisa Okonkwo, Mayor Lisa Lambert, Jason Gregg and Jo Woodhead

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An empty unit in a Halifax shopping centre has become a focal point for fundraising for flood victims in Calderdale.

A group of people from the Calder Valley saw how badly the floods were affecting the Calder Valley and decided they had to do something.

Jo Woodhead got straight on the phone just before new year and less than a week later had a shop to open in the Woolshops Shopping centre.

“It happened very fast,” she said. “I rang Gregg, the manager of Woolshops, and he let us have the space for free for two weeks.

“The stock mainly came from the generous people from Calderdale and we have volunteers working here. With all the stock we have, we could fill a shop three times this size.”

The shop sells clothes, bags, accessories and books, all of which were donated.

“We were even given two mannequins by Woolshops,” added Jo. “We call them Hope and Charity!”

They hope to raise £10,000 for the Calderdale floods appeal, which currently sits at just under £300,000.

Volunteer Lisa Okonkwo from the St George’s Trust charity said: “A lot of people might be thinking ‘why should we pay for the flood defences? It should be the government’.

“But people need to know that the money is going to the people of Calderdale, to homes and community organisations, not towards paying for flood defences.”

Mayor of Calderdale Lisa Lambert said: “After the devastation across Calderdale, it is heartwarming to see people working together and helping each other in this way.

“It’s been a hectic coupld of weeks – meeting people who have been though the floods is heartbreaking.”

She went on to praise the work done by Calderdale Council in helping those affected by the floods.

The unit was formerly a branch of Accessorize until 18 months ago. It will be open until Friday January 15.