At this time, we feel that we have raised enough money to meet the current need to help flood-affected communities in Somerset increase their resilience. Donations given to the Fund from August 2014 will be retained for future episodes of flooding.
If you are seeking financial assistance as a result of the flooding on the Somerset Levels or elsewhere in the county, please click here for further information.
Between 150 and 200 homes on the Somerset Levels have been flooded or evacuated since the beginning of January, and homes were flooded in different parts of the county before the New Year. In some communities the evacuation was at short notice, leaving households little time to prepare to leave.
So far we have awarded grants to over 350 households as they cope with the financial pressures caused directly and indirectly by the floods. We have also supported a number of partner organisations providing practical support on the ground, taking the total value of grants issued and committed to over £850,000. Only now that the flood waters have started to recede can people start to get a sense of the damage to their property. We have already started to look at how we can best support flood-affected micro-businesses and have launched a further round of funding to assist households with the rebuild.
With donations from businesses, community groups, individuals and trusts our Fund total is now £1.3m, a remarkable testament to the magnitude of the problem and the empathy felt across the country. This is a magnificent response has meant that we were able to respond to the short-term need as well as plan properly to help rebuild lives, livelihoods and communities over the coming months.
Somerset Flood Relief Fund is used to:
- Provide emergency relief grants to people whose homes have been flooded or who have had to evacuate their homes to meet the immediate financial burdens of moving out, pumping and drying, and emergency repairs. These are £250 and usually awarded within 48 hours of receipt of an eligible application.
- Help those who face additional financial burdens as a result of the flooding, for example though loss of earnings, extended daily commutes and school runs.
- Support local microbusinesses, charities and community organisations to ensure their survival and swift recovery as an essential part of the local community and economy through grants and, where applicable, loans.
- Support counselling and other support and community services to help people cope with the emotional stress caused by the flooding in the short and medium term.
- Donations that exceed the immediate need will be used to help flood-affected communities in Somerset increase their resilience or will be retained for future episodes of flooding.
We are a very small organisation that has been able to respond quickly and flexibly to the flooding crisis, administering donations coming in from around the world and processing hundreds of grant applications for our flood-affected neighbours in Somerset. We are extremely grateful for all of the volunteers and our temporary staff who have helped us out in the office during this very busy time. Where possible the cost of administering the Fund will be taken from gift aid receipts, and we anticipate that support costs will not exceed 10% of the total Fund.