Calderdale floods report: Response hailed ‘phenomenal’

Mytholmroyd Flood. Volunteers from Hartleypool spend the day in Mytholmroyd.
Mytholmroyd Flood. Volunteers from Hartleypool spend the day in Mytholmroyd.
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An incredible outpouring of support has seen hundreds of thousands of pounds donated to help Calderdale recover from the devastating Boxing Day floods.

The response has been hailed as ‘phenomenal’ by its organisers, the Community Foundation for Calderdale.

Winners of the Courier Business of the Month award, James and Luke Smith, presented by Steve Duncan from CFFC

Winners of the Courier Business of the Month award, James and Luke Smith, presented by Steve Duncan from CFFC

Donations have poured from well-wishers across the country since the appeal was set up and the total now stands at nearly £400,000 and rising. But it’s hoped the appeal could reach £1m, offering even more support to those in need in our borough.

And now we are calling on even more people to dig deep and support those whose homes and businesses were washed away in the deluge.

It has been announced that match funding of £2m is available from the Government for areas affected by flooding. And after lobbying by MPs Holly Lynch and Craig Whittaker, the deadline has now being extended from January 11 to February 5.

Chief Executive Officer, Steve Duncan, said: “The support from people in Calderdale and from across the country has been absolutely amazing.

“We set the appeal up with nothing and after one day it had reached £25,000. It has been absolutely phenonemal. If you look at the screen, it changes all the time.

“We have processed around 500 to 700 applications from householders. Let’s make the most of this government match funding if you can give something - no matter how big or small.”

Many white goods have also been donated and Mr Duncan praised the work of volunteers who worked across Christmas to process applications.

He added: “We have had around 20 volunteers who came into our office over the Christmas break, they just came in, they were trained up and began processing applications.

“I would just like to say thank you to them for their work.

“We’d also like to work with local people to create a legacy. If this happens again, we would like a reasonable amount of money which we can get to straight away.”

The appeal has been given a massive boost by businesses including Marks and Spencer, Ikea and Matalan.

Harveys of Halifax pledged to match every pound donated in store up to £5,000 and the appeal also received huge boosts from Nestle, which donated £10,000, and the Firstfruits charity donated a massive £50,000.

Picture This! photography group, based in Old Town, Hebden Bridge, also made a donation of £1,000 - the money represents most of the profit made from their 2016 calendar.

While the flood relief appeal will help individuals affected by the floods, support will also be offered for businesses.

The foundation will collect donations for businesses and will hand over donations and the match funding given to a partnership between Business for Calderdale and the Upper Calder Valley Renaissance Business Recovery Team.

Stephen Curry, Chair of the UCVR said, “From day one of the floods the UCVR have been working hard to ensure that the business affected will not be left to muddle through. Not only are hundreds of business disrupted now for weeks or months but there is knock on effect to other business who trade with flooded colleagues.

“We are also conscious of the plight of many soletraders working from homes and offices flooded. There is a wide range of businesses that need our support now and in the months ahead.

“This is not a quick fix partnership together we will workto rebuild the local economy as quickly as is possible.”

Nick Worsnop, chair of Business for Calderdale said: “As anorganisation dedicated to the promotion and welfare of businesses across Calderdale, whichobviously includes those who run and work in the businesses, we are committed to helping to provide support to those in the Calder valley affected by these awful events.

“We will be raising the issue at our first meeting of 2016 and asking for ideas for help and support from members, whether it be by way of time, fundraising or donations.”

If sending a cheque to the foundation - please specify whether it is business donation or donation for individual use.

lTo donate online visit localgiving.com/appeal/flooding