Volunteers head to Carlisle to continue supporting flood-stricken neighbourhood
At the beginning of this month, volunteers from Wakefield-based humanitarian charity, Penny Appeal, headed back to Carlisle to continue their support for those affected by devastating floods last winter.
They assisted with redecorating and renovating Greystone Community Centre and the home of a retired couple nearby, both of which were badly damaged by Storm Desmond in December 2015.
Dozens of members of #TeamOrange, the name of Penny Appeal’s volunteer and fundraising family, helped out, doing everything from removing damaged furniture to painting walls.
They were joined by Abdullah Afzal, comedian and star of BBC’s Citizen Khan, who got his hands dirty during the clean-up work and gave moral support.
Over 2,500 people used the Greystone Community Centre in the immediate aftermath of the floods, and it remained open 24 hours a day for two weeks to provide shelter and food for the flood victims.
Redecoration was desperately needed, but with higher bills to pay as a result of the additional use, the centre’s finances were stretched.
The following weekend the team visited the home of Diane and George Russell, which suffered extensive damage as water levels rose. Despite battling cancer, Mr Russell, an ex-plasterer and tradesman, managed to do some work himself, but the couple then faced bigger tasks than they could manage.
They were identified as in need of practical help by House to Home, a project set up through Give a Day to the City to support residents affected by the floods.
Harris Iqbal, UK Programmes Coordinator at Penny Appeal, said: “Our #TeamOrange volunteers never fail to amaze us with their dedication to helping others and we’re proud to be able to go back to Carlisle and offer further support to the community.
“There’s a lot of work still to be done right across the region, but when people come together it’s amazing what can be achieved, and it’s this ethos that Penny Appeal’s projects and people are especially great at showing.”