Community foundations raise more than £1m for flood relief

The umbrella body's national appeal and local funds were launched to help communities affected by the recent extreme weather

Flooding in Chertsey, Surrey
Flooding in Chertsey, Surrey

A national appeal by the umbrella body UK Community Foundations and local collections by eight community foundations have jointly raised more than £1m for communities affected by the UK floods.

Local community foundations in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Cornwall, Devon, Norfolk, Somerset, Surrey and Wales set up relief funds in response to the extreme weather in recent months. 

At the same time the UKCF launched a national appeal in February in aid of all communities affected by the storms and floods.

The biggest single donation, of £400,000, came from the furniture maker and retailer Wren Living, which gave 10 per cent of UK-wide turnover for one week in February.

The money was split between the eight community foundations running flood appeals.

Money raised so far has been spent on providing immediate emergency relief, including hardship grants of up to £250 to people in affected areas.

Donations will also be used over the longer term to help people and small businesses rebuild their communities and overcome the emotional impact of the floods, UKCF said.

Stephen Hammersley, chief executive of UKCF, said the amount raised so far demonstrated the "power and scale of community involvement" in flood relief efforts.

"We all know that the delays in a coordinated response to the storms and flooding left many unsure of where to turn," he said. "It was the community itself that stepped into the breach.

"Using local knowledge, insight and existing networks, the community was able to get help to those in need and bring attention to the challenges being faced. Community foundations were a huge part of these efforts and will continue fundraising and supporting local people and local business to overcome the devastation brought by the adverse weather."

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