Norwich man’s plea to help neighbours hit by subsidence in Gertrude Road

House subsidence on Gertrude Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

House subsidence on Gertrude Road, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A concerned father-of-one has launched an appeal to help his neighbours, after they found themselves without homes to live in.

Rick West, who lives on Gertrude Road, was so moved by coverage of the plight of his neighbours, whose homes were evacuated earlier in the week, that he has set up an online fundraising campaign to try and help.

Subsidence caused by a burst pipe underground has left four terraced houses uninhabitable, with residents forced to seek out other options.

Mr West, who lives 'at the other end of the road' has decided to try and help; despite not knowing any of the home owners personally.

The 35-year-old said: 'Even though I live on the same road, I had no idea what had happened until a colleague told me that my road was all over the newspapers. I read the story and was desperate to do something to help.

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'If what has happened to my neighbours had happened to me, I would like to think somebody would do the same for me.'

Mr West, who works in I.T, has started a donations page online, and has pledged to share any money he raises between the four houses affected.

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He said: 'If I was a builder, I would offer to help in that way, but I'm not. So this is my little way of making a difference.

'It isn't even all about finance; it's about raising awareness. If somebody sees the page who can offer any form of help, then I will have achieved my goal.'

Mr West has managed to contact owners of one of the homes affected, Rachel Howard and Darren Mildon, and Miss Howard admitted she was 'surprised' to have been contacted.

She said: 'I didn't really think that kind of community existed nowadays. Naturally, we were both incredibly grateful that somebody wants to help.

Meanwhile, the pair are still no closer finding out when their house will be safe to move back into, while their two dogs, a chihua-hua and a whippet are making it increasingly difficult to find temporary residence.

Miss Howard, 29, added: 'We're still staying with my mum in Old Catton, as none of the housing agents we have contacted will allow us to bring our dogs, and those that do are out of our price range.

'Giving them up is not an option.'

The donation page can be found at

Are you one of the other people affected by the home evacuations? Contact

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