Every penny will go to those who need it, says charity boss in charge of flood donations

Photo: Guy Carpenter.

Every penny of donated money will be spent on supporting local people who lost out in the July flash floods, says the charity boss in charge of the fund.

The charity in charge of distributing money to those who have suffered due to the July flash flooding say they are working hard to get the money to those who need it.

The assurance comes after a local business owner warned last week that some firms were battling to survive following the flooding.

David Atkinson, who launched a four holiday cottage enterprise with his wife Rose in Reeth just eight weeks before they were inundated with up to three feet of mud and silt, said numerous businesses in the Dales economy are struggling.

The comments prompted calls for funding to be distributed quicker to those in need.

Following the floods on July 31, Two Ridings Community Foundation opened the Swaledale & Wensleydale Recovery Fund to provide assistance to people affected.

In addition to the contribution of £94,000 made by Two Ridings to start the fund, the charity has received donations of more than £165,000 in the last three months.

This means that the fund has £260,000 to distribute. To date £120,000 of the funds have been distributed.

Jan Garrill, chief executive of Two Ridings Community Foundation said: “Thanks to the very generous support of many we have helped many of the people affected by the flooding but we know the fund also has to be there to help people in the long term, especially for key points such as when people move back into their homes.

“It is always a fine balance in terms of getting the funds out as soon as possible but also making sure there is support in the longer term.

“But you can be assured every penny will be spent on supporting local people affected by the flooding in Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Wensleydale.”

To date the fund has made 135 payments of £300 to people affected by the flooding, with a further five in the pipeline.

As a result of the case worker team visiting people affected by the flooding 19 further awards totalling nearly £50,000 have been made to help people in significant hardship, including four awards to small businesses.

The charity says the money held in The Swaledale and Wensleydale Recovery Fund will be used to ensure that the families, farms and small businesses affected in Swaledale, Arkengarthdale and Wensleydale have long-term support to help them recover from the effects of flooding.

This includes awards to the parish councils as well as payments to residents to help them with the costs of temporary accommodation, running dehumidifiers or replacing items such as white goods and essential furniture.

In addition, Two Ridings, with the help of Richmondshire Community Voluntary Action have regular drop ins with a range of other support organisations (The Farming Community Network, Richmondshire District Council, NFU) attending.

To make a request for support or to find out more please contact the Two Ridings Community Foundation office on 01904 929 500 or email grants@tworidingscf.org.uk.

Two major fundraising events have been organised by local residents and generously supported by local businesses and networks. The first took place on19th October at Tennants, Leyburn. The second will be a Grand Day Gala Dinner Dance – Tennants, Leyburn on Saturday 2nd November.