Launched by South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF), the relief appeal has brought donations from organisations and individuals across the region, across the UK and even from overseas in a “truly extraordinary” response.
“I survived Storm Sandy in New Jersey US – I wish you well in the recovery of your homes and community,” says one donor, giving £50.
Since being launched following the widespread flooding in South Yorkshire, especially in the Doncaster area, on November 7, South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation’s Emergency Flood Disaster Relief Appeal has so far generated more than £526,000.
Money continues to arrive, helping families and other local people who have been displaced from their homes and had their properties damaged. More than 1,000 households were affected by the flooding, and 285 remain uninhabitable, meaning Christmas will be spent away from home.
Ruth Willis, chief executive of South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation, which was set up to support community groups and to improve the lives of their communities, described the response to the relief appeal as “truly extraordinary”.
She said: “The flooding that devastated parts of South Yorkshire in November continues to cause huge disruption to local communities. Whilst thousands of people continue to clean up their homes, streets and communities, they now face the long-term impact of the flooding. Many people are in a situation where repairs to their homes will take months if not longer and we know many of those are unable to live in their homes whilst this is being done.
“The response in the aftermath of the flooding from across the UK was incredible but now we are calling for the continued support from anyone that can help all those affected. The more SYCF raises with the South Yorkshire Disaster Relief Appeal the more we will be able to do to help local people facing huge expense to make their homes habitable again.”
Thousands have been raised by the BBC Radio Sheffield Flood Relief Appeal Concert in Doncaster this month – an evening of music and comedy featuring the likes of Doncaster-based band Bang Bang Romeo, Sheffield-based ukulele group The Everly Pregnant Brothers and stand-up comedians Justin Moorhouse and Tom Wrigglesworth.
Significant donations have come from charitable trusts and religious organisations from across the UK as well as numerous anonymous contributions.
Pupils at a primary school in Bradford said they “wanted to give their money to help families who have been affected by the floods at Christmas”, sending £20, a church in Canvey Island, Essex, donated £70, “hoping you can enjoy Christmas despite your circumstances and wishing you a better New Year”, and a £30 donation was “instead of grand-daughters Christmas present”.