Charities raise over £8m for flood appeals
Community foundations and charities across the north of England have so far raised at least £8m in appeals for storms Desmond and Eva which flooded swathes of the region over December and the New Year.
Organisations in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and the Greater Manchester area have all launched appeals to help individuals and communities affected by flooding. Of these, one of the largest individual appeals is the Cumbria Community Foundation’s Flood Recovery Fund 2015, which initially launched on 5 December with a target of £1m, has now raised over £4.3m. The target amount has now been raised to £6m. The foundation’s appeal alone has received over 16,000 individual donations.
Ian Brown, chair of the Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “It’s very heart-warming and encouraging to see the overwhelming support of our local communities during this challenging time.”
According to the foundation, the appeal fund is open to anyone whose “home has suffered flooding, significant structural damage or to people who have lost work or income because of storm of flood”.
The fund will also be providing “grants to voluntary and community groups” providing relief to those affected. While most grants will be between £5,000 and £15,000, the foundation said that for “strategic, coordinated grants there will be no upper limit”.
Other appeals include the Football Association’s Emergency Football Relief fund which has so far raised over £750,000, the Community Foundation for Calderdale appeal which has raised over £300,000 and appeals in Lancashire and Greater Manchester which have together raised over £200,000.
The UK Community Foundations, the umbrella body for community foundations, has also today launched a Winter Flood Recovery Appeal for communities across the northern parts of the UK.
Fabian French, chief executive of UKCF, said: “Homes, businesses and voluntary groups have been devastated by the floods and are in urgent need of support.
“This has taken the immediate form of funding for clean-up operations, emergency repairs, clothing, food, water, heating and child care. In the long term community foundations will also provide grants for rebuilding projects.
“It is vital that we do all we possibly can to channel funds to the relevant community foundations where they can do the most good.”
The Department for Communities and Local Government has also pledged an initial match-funding programme worth up to £2m for the most recent flooding caused by storm Eva.
The initial match-funding prospectus, published yesterday, set a deadline for expressions of interest as 11 January 2016 and said that registered charities running “fundraising appeals for flood relief” in relevant areas will be eligible to apply for funding.
The Daily Mail’s flood appeal has also raised over £1m for those affected by storm Desmond, with donations from readers taking the appeal passed the figure on Christmas Day 2015.