First emergency grants issued to Somerset flood victims
VICTIMS of flooding have been given emergency grants to help clear up the damage and get life back to normal.
A Langport pensioner in her 80s was the first to receive a grant of £250 less than 24 hours after the emergency grants were set up by charity Somerset Community Foundation and supported by Somerset County Council.
After flooding hit her home her carpets, soft furnishing and possessions were ruined.
She said: "It's all very traumatic."
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The grant will go towards first steps to making her home habitable once again.
More than thirty emergency grants have been awarded to flood victims to help rebuild their lives.
Connor Doherty from Norton Fitzwarren is self-employed with two young children at home, and also benefited from a grant.
Unable to work over the last week, his grant will help support living costs whilst the recovery of his home and business gets underway.
Mr Doherty said: "We are slowly getting things back together after the flood and the community fund has helped us a great deal.
"I wasn't able to go to work for five days so the money has helped us to deal with the loss of earnings and to buy essential things such as food and cleaning equipment."
"We posted the application off and the money was in our bank very quickly and available for us to spend on the clean-up."
Somerset County Council was the first to donate £50,000 to the fund, run by Somerset Community Foundation.
The charity's chief executive Justin Sargent said: "The grant helps relieve flood victims' stress and anxiety and helps them get back on their feet.
"We've now issued more than 30 grants and more and more people are getting in touch.
"They know they are not alone and the people of Somerset and beyond are there for them, helping them rebuild their homes and lives.
"Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the fund, but we will need more.
"We have also received some very kind offers from members of the public wanting to help.
"A holiday cottage owner has been in touch to say her cottage is free if any flood victims need a place to stay and a man from Kent offered to drive down and deliver spare furniture. Please get in touch if you have items that could be of use."
Councillor David Hall, cabinet member at the county council said: "It's important and gratifying that the first grants have been given out so quickly to those most in need.
"The fund will be open for the long-haul, from the initial response to recovery and then helping people protect their homes in future.
"We have contributed £50,000 from our emergency funds, and we urge others to also support Somerset Community Foundation's efforts in helping Somerset flood victims by giving generously."
To donate to the charity fund, go online at www.somersetcf.org.uk or text donation to WARM44 £ and then the amount of donation you would like to give to text number 70070.
For information on how to make a claim if you have been affected by flooding, check out www.somersetcf.org.uk.