A fundraising appeal by the Cumbria Community Foundation to help people affected by the weekend’s flooding has raised £500,000 in its first three days. The appeal’s target is £1 million, and the current total is over £600,000.
The Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund 2015 is designed to assist any individuals or families who suffer financial hardship as a result of the flooding caused by Storm Desmond. The money will also be used to assist with wider community relief and rebuilding projects.
Corporate donations include a £50,000 gift from Nuclear Management Partners.
Priority will be given to households who have people over the age of 70, under the age of five, people with physical or learning difficulties or mental health needs or on a low income. It will not normally fund people who are fully insured, vehicles and businesses. Initial hardship grants of £500 can now be applied for.
Andy Beeforth, Chief Executive of Cumbria Community Foundation, said:
“We are still in the eye of the storm, but we know that it appears the flooding is worse than in 2009 in some areas of the county. People will need financial help to rebuild and we want to have the means to do that.”
He added that the Foundation would work with major voluntary groups involved in the recovery and with providers of social housing. Donations are being accepted via JustGiving, cheque and text donations.
Previous flood appeals
The Cumbria Community Foundation has run four emergency flood appeals in the past 15 years, in 2001, 2005, 2009 (which raised £3 million), and 2012.
The Foundation has shared some of the lessons it has learned from running previous appeals:
* The importance of a dedicated fund to secure and distribute financial support to community groups and individuals
* The important role voluntary and community organisations play in supporting communities during times of need
* How valuable small grants are in providing both financial and emotional support to individuals experiencing hardship
* How wide ranging and long lasting the emotional impact of such a disaster can be to individuals
* The impact on voluntary and community organisations during times of need (loss of income, opportunities to expand services and respond to need)
Photo: sandbags in a flood – by ChiccoDodiFC on Shutterstock.com
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