Morecambe shopkeeper’s Revival after storms wrecked her home

Photo Neil Cross
Jeni Robinson at Revivals West End, Morecambe
Photo Neil Cross Jeni Robinson at Revivals West End, Morecambe
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It took Jeni Robinson many months to rebuild her life after Storm Desmond.

But now a nightmare year has ended with a huge boost as she opens her new shop in Morecambe’s West End.

Revivals is aptly named because it marks the revival of Jeni’s recycling business 12 months after she lost her home, van and all her stock in the December 2015 floods.

“Morecambe took me in when I was homeless and I would like to open something in the area to return the favour,” she said.

Jeni had just developed a new product – using tent fabric to create waterproof ponchos which also double as blankets – when the floods struck her home in Cumbria last year.

Her van was full of stock as her road began to fill up with foot-deep water.

“By the time I considered emptying my van I found I had to tightrope walk along the top of the wall surrounding my house just to get to it,” she said.

“The water came under the door at about 5am on December 6. I was briefly reminded of Titanic!

“The electricity went off soon after and when I woke up the next day the road was a river. Several boats went past offering rescue but with all the public transport out and my van and stock underwater there didn’t really seem anywhere to go anyway. One by one the lights went out.

“After the water left I found I had no flat. The volunteers came and anything that was submerged was a write off. I was effectively homeless and with no money for deposit on a new place and in no position to work. I couch surfed until February at friends’ houses and eventually found a nice place in Morecambe.”

Now Jeni has a new flat and van, has restarted her business FurryZebra from scratch and is looking forward to her new venture on Yorkshire Street.

She will offer space to residents wishing to display or sell their own craft work and also hopes to offer courses and workshops.

“Without a bit of help when it was needed I would probably not been in the position I am now again and I would like to share that as it is so important.”