accessibility & help

Philip and Rosemary's story: “It was your worst nightmare"

Flood - Phillip and Rosemary Dollins© Info

Philip Dollin had just been given the devastating news he was suffering from bowel cancer when the house he shares with his wife in Woolhampton, Berkshire, was flooded by two-and-a-half feet of water in July 2007.

Many of their possessions were destroyed including their car, which was parked on the driveway. He said: “It was your worst nightmare. We lost everything and it was all so sudden, we didn’t have time to react. Before we knew it, we were up to our knees in dirty water.

"My wife tried to take some stuff upstairs but not much could be saved."


A week later, Philip (70) was in hospital undergoing a major operation and Rosemary was in temporary accommodation in Newbury.

Philip said: “We were in such turmoil, first my wife had lost her house and then I had gone into hospital. Then we had to start replacing all our belongings, which was very expensive because we were just on the borderline for insurance and got a minimum payout.”

A complete delight

The grandfather-of-one, who is now receiving chemotherapy treatment, received an £800 cheque from the Red Cross National Floods Appeal.

He said: ”The money was a complete delight; we just can’t thank the Red Cross enough. It will go some way to compensating us for the money we have paid out to replace our belongings and we have also used some of it as a deposit for a coach holiday to Ireland when I’m feeling better as we’d really like to get away after all this is behind us.” 

Read more stories of people helped through the National Floods Appeal

Find out how to prepare for floods and other disasters