Derek Pearce/British Red CrossWhen running water was cut off in areas of Gloucestershire during the 2007 summer floods, Jeanette Nicholls immediately knew she needed to check on her mum and the other pensioners living in a mobile home park in Quedgeley.
She explained: “There are about 100 pensioners there, and many of them don’t have anyone who checks up on them. I go down there a lot to help out, get their shopping, and see they’re ok.”
What she found was truly distressing. “A few days ago, they were completely without water and electricity. These people are housebound and couldn’t get out to find water. Some of them are diabetic.”
Jeanette’s mum, June Young, said: “A lot of people on the site are very vulnerable. About ninety per cent of the mobile homes don’t have baths to fill up with emergency supplies of water — they only have showers. And many of the residents don’t have any electricity now. Some of them don’t have cookers, just microwaves, so it was difficult for them to eat anything without electricity.”
Jeanette acted immediately and tried to get water for her mum’s neighbours. Unfortunately, she could not get enough bottled water for 100 people.
Not to be deterred, she looked for other ways to get water to the people who so desperately needed it. She recalled: “I went on your website and found the helpline number. I called on Monday night and the Red Cross took water down twice on Tuesday to make sure the residents had enough.”
Nothing to drink all day
Jeanette told her mum June that the Red Cross was on its way with enough water for the residents. June said: “I walked around the site to tell everyone you were on your way with water, and one couple hadn’t had a drink all day, so I went home and made them a cup of tea while they waited.”
The Red Cross did not forget about the pensioners after the first drop-off. Several days later the residents got another supply of water to last them five days.
Jeanette was thrilled with the way the Red Cross got the much-needed water to the mobile home residents. She said: “The Red Cross was brilliant. They were the only people we could get through to and who responded to the needs of the residents of the mobile home site. We were very, very happy with the Red Cross’ response.”
June agreed. “We thought it was absolutely amazing how you responded so quickly. All the residents here were so happy to know there are people out there thinking about us, and you were here so fast we couldn’t believe it.
“We just can’t thank you enough.”
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