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Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal up for national award for Local Newspaper Week

PUBLISHED: 23:30 11 May 2015 | UPDATED: 23:30 11 May 2015

Tidal Surge at Suffolk's coast.

Tidal Surge at Suffolk's coast.

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This week the EDP is looking back at the campaigns that have made a profound impact on people's lives.

Two causes which made a real difference to the region

The EDP is asking you to vote for one of our two campaigns which have been shortlisted.

The Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal and the A11 Road to Success Appeal have been recognised as part of Local Newspaper Week on a list of 37 local newspaper campaigns across the country.

Voting begins taking for the Making a Difference Showcase, with the winner to be announced at the Regional Press Awards on Friday, in London.

The Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal raised funds to rebuild local communities after floods struck Norfolk and Suffolk.

The appeal helped more than 300 families pick up the pieces left behind by the terrible flood.

The A11 Road to Success Appeal was a 40 year campaign in which the EDP challenged the government, held meetings and ran many feature pieces to get the A11 road duelled.

Final approval was given in late 2010 to dual the last stretch, which opened in December 2014.

Local Newspaper Week which kicked off yesterday and runs until Sunday has been supported by celebrities such as actor Michael Sheen and The One Show co-host Alex Jones.

This year’s theme is “Making a Difference”, and is looking at the ability of local newspapers to make a difference in the lives of local communities.

Voting for the “Making a Difference” campaign award opened yesterday.

To vote visit www.localnewspaperweek.co.uk and find the campaign you wish to vote for.

As we celebrate Local Newspaper Week, we also celebrate two of our campaigns that have been nominated for a national award against 35 other campaigns from across the country.

One of these campaigns is the Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood appeal.

On a dark night in December 2013, a tidal surge devastated communities across our coastline, destroying people’s homes and causing thousands of pounds of damage.

But in the weeks and months that followed, thousands of people rallied together around those who had seen their homes and businesses shattered.

The EDP with the Norfolk Community Foundation, launched the appeal to help those affected get their lives back on track.

In the weeks and months that followed, an astonishing £330,000 was raised for the appeal.

The appeal wrapped up ten months later in October 2014, and overall the generosity of readers helped fund 312 families in the region.

Of those who benefitted from the appeal were David, 66, and Lorraine Fowler, 55, of Poplar Drive in Walcott.

The results of the tidal surge forced the couple out of their home for four months, during which they ended up staying at Castaways Holiday Park in Bacton.

As part of the flood appeal, the couple received £3,000.

Mr Fowler said: “The flood came all so sudden. We had about a ten minute warning and then we all went to The Lighthouse Inn in Walcott to stay safe.

“While we were away, the house had about 18 inches of water and everything was destroyed. It was total devastation.

“Our insurance company as well as the builders who helped fix the house and get us to move back in on May 7 was great, but the EDP appeal was a real lifeline during those times of struggle.

“It really helped us with just everyday things like getting food, petrol, new clothes and Wi-fi.

“I am just really grateful to everyone that helped contribute to the appeal as it really helped us during a tough time, just like it did to countless other families that were affected.”

At the end of the appeal £10,000 which was left over, was matched with another £10,000 by the Community Foundation and was the launchpad for Fighting for the Vulnerable - now a standing appeal to help readers in times of crisis.

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