Community spirit shown in help for flood victims

Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Charles Shuttleworth attends a special gathering to give thanks to residents and business owners who have shown their support over the past four months after the floods, hosted by The Community Foundation for Lancashire at Whalley Village Hall.

Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire Charles Shuttleworth attends a special gathering to give thanks to residents and business owners who have shown their support over the past four months after the floods, hosted by The Community Foundation for Lancashire at Whalley Village Hall.

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After spending the night on a church pew, stranded by flooding, Bruce Crowther woke up with water in front of his face.

The director of the Fig Tree fair trade centre had slept in St John’s Church in Lancaster as the deluge hit in December, but never expected the devastation that followed.

The church was left badly damaged, with Christmas stock destroyed, but the organisation was handed a lifeline with a grant from the Lancashire Flood Recovery Appeal.

Bruce said: “We applied for £1,000 towards the loss of our stock, which we got straight away.

“We actually went into debt to buy stock before Christmas, so the £1,000 meant, with donations, we’ve got back most of the money.”

He described the grant as a “huge life line”, along with help from organisations across Lancaster including St Nicholas Arcade, the Dukes and the Friends’ Meeting House.

He said: “Everybody has been absolutely tremendous.”

The Fig Tree is just one of many organisations helped by donations from the Lancashire Flood Recovery Appeal, set up by the Community Foundation for Lancashire in December.

As the appeal reached £1m, the foundation’s president Lord Shuttleworth, the Lord Lieutenant for Lancashire, publicly thanked everyone who contributed at an event in Whalley.

The event took place as a part of the campaign to acknowledge the coming together of communities and businesses across Lancashire, especially in the Whalley area that was severely affected by flooding.

It also announced the appeal had achieved £1m, due to government match funding.

Lord Shuttleworth said: “We are delighted to have reached £1m in funds raised which is a phenomenal achievement.

“Lancashire has a long history of philanthropic endeavours whose influence can still be seen today.

“There have been many generations of philanthropic Lancastrians who have supported people in need and grown the prosperity of our towns and cities for the better.

“The recent flooding has seen this Lancastrian community spirit continue.”

Chief executive of the Community Foundation for Lancashire Cathy Elliott added: “We are humbled and honoured to support thousands of people who have been affected by December’s flooding.

“We are also grateful to the huge support we have received from all those who have donated, including the general public, companies and trusts.

“We now continue our work to support those communities still affected many months on.”

People wanting to make a contribution to the appeal can donate at www.lancsfloodappeal.org.uk, by texting LFLD15 and your donation amount (e.g. £10) to 70070, or online at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/lancsfloodappeal.