accessibility & help

Jan and Alice's story: “Without you, where would a lot of people be?”

Jan Watkins with her Red Cross deliveryLayton Thompson

When the 2007 summer floods hit, Jan (67) and her 92-year-old neighbour Alice had their water supply completely cut off with little warning. Given Alice’s frail condition and the lack of any reliable water source, things were starting to look bleak. But then their neighbour got in touch with the Red Cross.

“We were cut off, and that was that,” remembers Jan. “There was a mad panic – all the water soon went from the local supermarket and the bowsers were emptying immediately.

“People such as Alice wouldn’t be able to walk up the road to the nearest bowser anyway, never mind make it back with full bottles of water. All us neighbours have been clubbing together to help but it has been a struggle. We’ve been like this for five days now.


“When the Red Cross showed up, it was brilliant – absolutely amazing. The volunteers pulled up in their big van and delivered enough bottles to last for five days, so we were delighted. They also promised to bring more in five days if we need it, so it’s a huge weight off our minds.

“Over the last few days, we have heard your praises being sung on Gloucestershire radio all the time and now we know why. It’s made a big difference, especially for Alice who really does depend on outside help. We can’t thank you enough.”

For Alice, the delivery has brought immediate comfort and meant that, for the first time in days, she can finally relax and stop worrying. She said: “At the end of the day, without organisations like you, where would a lot of people be? The Red Cross always seems to be there, and always has been as far as I know.”

Looking down at the 96 large bottles of water she had just been given, a wide grin spread across her face as she added: “At least, if I want to drown myself, I can do it now. I’ve certainly got enough water!”

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