Support floods in for surge victims

Rev Mark Ladds organising donations at West Cliff Congreational Church


Rev Mark Ladds organising donations at West Cliff Congreational Church w135003c

As the waters receded and the sheer scale of the damage was revealed, groups gathered to discuss how they would be able to help some of the worst affected residents.

Whitby Community College established a refuge centre, where nine affected residents spent Thursday night.

Relief points were also set up the following day at Raithwaite Hall and Whitby Congregational Church on Skinner Street.

Rev Mark Ladds established the centre after watching the disaster unfold online.

He said: “On Friday people were bombarding us, saying ‘what can we do, how can we help’?

“I won’t say I was surprised, it’s what you expect. There are genuine people in Whitby who want to help each other in any way possible.”

The church was opened up where anyone who was affected by the flooding could come for warmth and to escape the blackout.

It was also used as a central point to organise donations of household items and clothing that were offered on a huge scale.

“Some of the older or poorer ones have no insurance, they’ve sadly lost everything below two feet,” Rev Ladds added.

With the clean up operation expected to take months, the donated items will be stored until required by residents.

Other people said they wanted to donate money to support the victims and so Agars of Whitby on Flowergate have established a fund.

Rev Ladds said: “It’s wonderful. We had a man who had just been to Whitby on holiday from America and he sent money over. People have been amazing.”

A Facebook group called Whitby Flood Help was established and at the time of writing had over 1,000 members. On this site people have been able to share their experiences and donated items have been posted.

With these floods taking place a year after the landslide at Aelfleda Terrace, it has been suggested that a disaster fund should be established to help aid victims when extreme weather events cause them to lose much of their property or their homes.

Rev Ladds said: “Is it not about time there was something out there so that when these things happen volunteers are already teamed up and funds are already in place?”

Any items which are not taken by victims will be sold and the funds kept aside, in the form of a disaster fund.

Anyone who needs assistance or would like to donate items should contact Rev Ladds on 07920452067. To donate money, contact Agars on 07766476297.




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