Members wade in to help clear up Sowerby Bridge

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The Rotary club of Sowerby Bridge has been wading in to help businesses and homes in the clean up operation in the town.

It is a relatively small club of just over 30 members but all of these threw themselves into many aspects of the response to the floods and associated disruption from the start.

A flood disaster emergency meeting was organised and members were joined by Sowerby Bridge Tesco Community Support staff members who have ‘walked the streets’ with food supplies and drinks and acted as a collection point for customer donations.

This was done every day until Monday and the wonderful people of Sowerby Bridge who came into Tescos donated over £6,200 which will go to the Calderdale Foundation Flood Appeal Fund. Ashley Evans from the rotary club said: “The dreadful impact of the flooding in Sowerby Bridge on people, homes and businesses literally brings home what the people of the Calder Valley have already had to deal with a number of times over the last few years.

“Once again it raises the issues of planning, support and the allocation of appropriate funds to assist those affected and stop it happening again.

“The Environment Agency and other organisations must implement a credible, long-term, plan of action to stop this increasingly regular destruction of lives, homes and businesses.

“That said, what has been truly uplifting has been the way people have risen to the occasion, supporting and helping each other out.”

Other Rotary clubs including Halifax [Calder], Sheffield [Vulcan] and Northampton [Wellingham] have helped with the clean up with the Northampton club driving up with a van load of cleaning materials, wipes, waterproof jackets and duvets.

The Sowerby Bridge club is part of Rotary International District 1040 and their District Governor, Hazel Haas has pledged support as well as informing clubs that the District will be raising a Rotary National Disaster Fund Appeal for York and the Calderdale areas affected by the floods.

“We are also lucky that we have Councillor Mike Payne in the club,” added Mr Evans. “Apart from working tirelessly throughout, he was able to keep us informed of what was happening and how needs shifted as the emergency progressed.

“It was very much a team effort in Sowerby Bridge, but there is still much to do and will be for a long time to come. As with Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd it will take a long time for people and businesses to put their lives back together.”