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Lilian's story: from flood victim to volunteer

Flood volunteer Lilan Nelson with client

Lilian Nelson was so inspired by the volunteers who helped after her home was flooded that she decided to sign up herself.

Six months ago, Lilian’s home in Morpeth was hit by shoulder-high floodwater while she was visiting London. She recalled: “When I went back home, it was deserted. I felt really isolated and didn’t know what to do with myself.”

But soon two young volunteers visited to check whether she needed anything and, at the local flood relief centre, more volunteers offered a friendly ear and good, practical advice.

Regular volunteer

Lilian said: “The Red Cross was absolutely amazing. You need an organisation like that, which is organised and in control and can give you back a sense of normality. I know it sounds simple, but you wouldn’t believe the difference it makes knowing there’s someone there looking out for you.”

Although she is still in temporary accommodation following the damage to her home, Lilian now volunteers two days a week for the flood relief team and visits local schools to raise awareness of the Red Cross and its work. 

She said: “I’m really enjoying it – there is such a sense of camaraderie and you know you’re helping people who really need your support. I should know, because I was one of them.”

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