accessibility & help

British Red Cross volunteer takes on Top to Toe Cumbria challenge one year on from Storm Desmond

28 November 2016


A volunteer for the British Red Cross, who helped those affected by Storm Desmond in Cumbria, will take on a four-day challenge across Cumbria on Monday (5 December) – to raise money for the charity in the county.

British Red Cross Emergency Response in Cumbria (ERiC) Team Leader David Taylor from Holme has been a volunteer for the charity for nearly 25 years.

On the first anniversary of Storm Desmond on Monday, David will take on a self-designed challenge to cycle, canoe, walk, swim, kayak and sail over 100 miles from the top to the toe of Cumbria, to raise funds for essential emergency response equipment in the area.

David is hoping to raise £5000 for the ERiC initiative. The Red Cross’ emergency response team in the county still has four full-time Flood Recovery Coordinators working with volunteers, providing practical and emotional support to those affected by Storm Desmond.

Red Cross volunteers and staff helped hundreds of people during and after the storm last December, setting up rest centres across Cumbria to help those who had to leave their homes, and responding to medical emergencies alongside the Ambulance Service.

Commenting on the challenge, David said:

“People across Cumbria know only too well the devastating impact Storm Desmond has had on our county. By carrying out this challenge, I hope that I and those who support me can make a contribution to ensuring that our service in Cumbria continues to operate effectively, and with the equipment it needs.

“I kickstarted the ERiC initiative with a similar fundraising challenge in 2010, after the Cockermouth floods. I hope that I can be equally successful with this challenge, and I’m raring to go come rain or shine!”

Tracey Crich, British Red Cross Senior Community Fundraiser for Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside, said:

“Fundraising events and donations are our first emergency response; without them we wouldn’t be able to respond to floods or other emergencies. One year on we are still helping some of the families affected by Storm Desmond, but it is vital we are ready and equipped for future emergencies, so that we can continue to help.

“We are incredibly grateful for David’s efforts in helping to raise money for our cause here in the county, and the fact that his challenge gets underway on International Volunteer Day is a poignant reminder of the contribution of volunteers like David around the world.”

For more information on David’s challenge, please visit

Notes to editors

  1. Photo attached: (1 & 2 - David Taylor outside his home, May 2016; 3 - David Taylor, Great North Run, 2014)
  2. The British Red Cross helps millions of people in the UK and around the world to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, disasters and conflicts. Our volunteers and staff help people in crisis to live independently by providing support at home, mobility aids and transport. We also teach first aid skills. We are part of the global Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian network. We refuse to ignore people in crisis.
For more information, please visit our website or our Facebook page. You can follow the British Red Cross North West Twitter page here