Friday, 27 November 2009

Flood Support Centre

"if I was flooded in Indonesia there would be no roads, no electricity, no health workers - it's not hard to keep things in perspective" - a lady whose business was completely flooded last Thursday.

"you people have been a lifesaver, hot food and you found me a pair of boots I could work in" - a man whose home was wrecked, as he put £10 in the donation box on the counter.

Helping out a few hours each day in the Support Centre (aka soup kitchen) at Christ Church in South Street is a very humbling experience, and also an exhausting one. I deliberately did not take photos of the people who are coming in for assistance, that would be intrusive, but here's where I feel like I am living at present

The Centre provides not just hot food, but is a clearing house for donated supplies and this large package brought a huge lump to most people's throats today. It was really heavy and must have cost a great deal to send.

Cumbria, and Cockermouth in particular, is a wonderful place with tough, resilient people. Many businesses are back open and now, more than ever, they need our support. If you can come here and do some Christmas Shopping you would be giving gifts to more than just your friends and relatives.

I walked through Main Street today, people are working non-stop to clear the flood debris and make progress on repairing shops and houses. Taking any pictures would have been totally inappropriate - this is how you should think of Cockermouth, and how you will see it again next year.

photo thanks to R. Hiley

The Cumbria Community Forum was set up after the Foot & Mouth crisis and know exactly how to help people in these situations. They have set up a Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund for individuals, families and voluntary groups that have suffered in the flooding.

See the Cumbria Community Foundation website for more information.

The Rotary Clubs of Cockermouth and Keswick have also launched a joint charity appeal to help people affected by the flooding who are unable to afford insurance due to having been flooded previously and have no means to repair their homes.

You can donate to this appeal using PayPal. See the Rotary Club of Keswick website.

Cheques can be sent to Rotary Clubs of Cockermouth & Keswick Flood Appeal, 26, Briar Rigg, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4NN.

They should be made payable to “The Rotary Club of Keswick”


  1. I hope that all those working in places like the "soup kitchen" realise how grateful people like me feel towards them as all I can do is make a donation.

  2. Sue, please don't think "all" you are doing is making a donation.

    Although local (and not so local) shops have been exceptionally generous and we receive donations throughout the day, we cannot expect the local Sainsbury's (for example) to give us all we need for the kitchen. We are getting through milk by the gallon, potatoes by the sack (jacket pot with cheese is a favourite here), bread, sandwich fillings, tea, coffee, etc., - it all has to be paid for.

    Thank you, and everyone else who donates, which helps with this.

  3. Congratulations to all the volunteers, you're doing a sterling job. I'm sure not having to worry about where the next meal's coming from is a great help to all the workers.

  4. Many of us cannot help directly and are very grateful to people who can. Keep it up lass!

  5. Well done for stepping in to help,hope the snow put a smile on your face

  6. Well done Jane. Having seen the snow as well, it will entice me north. I hope you don't mind me nabbing your 2 quotes from the blog. Sums up the puritanical stoicism often found in folk of a different generation but which still holds out in some places amongst many.

  7. You go right ahead Peter, this is bigger than the rest of us put together, I just hope my ramblings might make a tiny bit of difference, who knows?


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