March 12 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Generous people in Norfolk and Suffolk have dug deep to push our community flood appeal over the £200,000 mark.
Norfolk and Suffolk have shown how voluntary and community groups have a vital role to play in helping communities affected by the recent severe weather, according to a minister.
Brandon Lewis, Great Yarmouth’s MP and parlimentary under secretary of state for the Department for Communities and Local Government, hosted a meeting with national and local community and voluntary groups who have been active in preparing for, responding to and recovering from the severe weather.
He said the meeting was a chance for organisations, from the Norfolk and Suffolk 4x4 Response group to Women’s Institute groups in Kent, to share best practice and ideas on how response and recovery efforts can be improved in the future.
The EDP’s Norfolk and Suffolk Flood Appeal was highlighted as a successful example of how the media can work with a voluntary organistion and local authorities to do more than just report on severe weather and to become a key partner in the recovery –which Mr Lewis said was now being considered by other areas of the country which had been affected, such as Somerset.
He said: “Voluntary organisations have a huge part to play in their communities and we will be looking at doing something like this again once we are away from the current weather conditions.”
When the tidal surge hit our coastal communities on December 5, it became quickly apparent that the cost to families and businesses would be high.
So the EDP Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal was launched with the help of Norfolk Community Foundation to administer the funds, and local councils to identify people in real need of swift financial help.
Nigel Pickover, editor of the EDP, said he wanted to thank everyone who had donated to the appeal. He said: “It’s great to see that what we did in Norfolk and Lowestoft – including the linkage with the community foundation and our councils of north Norfolk, west Norfolk and Yarmouth and Waveney – raised more than £200,000 and has been recognised by the government as a model for community response. The secret of our success was to link together quickly as a community, to have a community with a big heart and then to get money quickly to victims. So although £130,000 has gone out to people who are still suffering, our work goes on until the smiles return.”
So far the appeal has awarded 132 grants totalling £116,521.40, and Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation, said it was still receiving requests for help to replace white goods, carpets and other items as families hear what is covered by their insurance.
"The places damaged are places where we would go on holiday and take our children"
He said: “The places damaged are places where we would go on holiday and take our children. The people affected are people we know and work with and that’s made a big difference to the fundraising.”
Mr Tuttle also revealed that another pledge for £10,000 had been received yesterday from a non-profit campaign organisation, which will take the total raised up to £210,000.
The agreed split on how to hand out the funding so far is:
Great Yarmouth – 5pc or £8,200 (spent to-date £3,317.90 for five grants);
Waveney – 35pc or £57,400 (spent to-date £54,318.50 for 51 grants);
North Norfolk – 50pc or £82,000 (spent to-date £56,825 for 72 grants);
West Norfolk & King’s Lynn – 10pc or £16,400 (spent to-date £2,060 for four grants).