accessibility & help

Support for flood warning evacuees

2 May 2012

Volunteers are working round the clock to support residents evacuated from their homes after heavy rainfall.

The British Red Cross is providing emotional support at a temporary rest centre after the threat of flooding forced 120 people out of their homes in a Northamptonshire caravan park.

A flood warning was issued on Monday (30 April) for an area including Billing Aquadrome – causing the park’s residents to seek shelter at nearby Lings Forum leisure centre in Weston Favell. About 100 people stayed at the centre last night (1 May) as the caravan park remains closed, but the situation is set to be reassessed today.

The centre is being run by Northamptonshire County Council with support from the Red Cross, which is also registering displaced residents, and other organisations. Red Cross volunteers have been working at the centre in shifts since 5pm on Monday, with at least five on site at any one time.

Pauline Mahon, service manager for the British Red Cross's fire and emergency support service in Northamptonshire, said: “Our team of dedicated volunteers worked through the evening and night to help everyone at the centre who had to leave their homes.

“We’ve been supporting people emotionally, as it is a distressing time. Since no entry is allowed at the park, we have also been trying to help though who have had to leave behind vital belongings which they need in their everyday lives.”

Stephane Jeannin a volunteer from Sleaford, celebrated his 44th birthday by helping out at the rest centre. He arrived at 10pm after his usual working day, and stayed throughout the night to register people arriving and leaving and help make the evacuated residents more comfortable by ensuring they had sleeping bags, towels, and drinks.

He said: "This is certainly a birthday I won't forget. I had planned to spend the evening with friends and family, but they have been celebrating without me. I love volunteering for the Red Cross though, so I came here as soon as I could."