Norfolk’s community heroes honoured in Downing Street reception with David Cameron
PUBLISHED: 21:53 07 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:11 08 April 2014
Norfolk’s community heroes who dealt with the horror and aftermath of December’s tidal surge were given a personal thank you by the prime minister at a Downing Street reception today.
Guests from flood and storm affected regions across the country were praised for showing resilience and compassion in their community.
Among the 150 honoured was Walcott community resilience coordinator Pauline Porter, who looked after the safety of her community and worked to ensure people were housed despite her own home being badly damaged.
Mrs Porter said they were singled out to meet the prime minister personally.
She said: “It was brilliant to be recognised for what we did for our community. We did work long hours and it is nice to be appreciated for that.”
With her was Steve Bullimore, landlord of the Lighthouse Inn at Walcott, North Norfolk District Council’s contingencies manager Richard Cook and senior flood warden for Bacton, Alison Hamilton.
The prime minister, who launched a new Points of Light award to recognise voluntary work, announced £500,000 of funding for community foundations at the reception.
He also confirmed that £4 million from Libor fines levied on banks would be directed to rescue organisations.
He said: “There were moments when it felt like the whole community was under attack in terms of the weather and it was never going to relent
“But while we saw the worst of British weather, we saw the best of British spirit.”
Mr Cameron warned the volunteers they may be called on again. He said: “I hope we won’t have weather quite as bad as that but the fact is we have seen more extreme weather events, we have had things that we have been told are one in a 100 or one in 200-year events and they seem to be happening more frequently.”
The daily Points of Light awards in the US came from former president George Bush Senior’s 1989 inaugural address where he praised the “thousand points of light” in American society.
Mr Cameron said in his speech yesterday: “You were in many ways those thousand points of light here in the UK, so today I’m announcing that Britain is going to have its own Points of Light Scheme, working in alliance with the Americans who have already had their 5,000th award given out.”
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