accessibility & help

The grandmother’s story: “Thanks for helping our newborn baby”

Baby Sarah Marie, safe and well

When the 2007 summer floods led to water being cut off in Gloucester, Trudie Lester (37) had more to worry about than most – her daughter-in-law was due to give birth at any moment!

The proud new grandmother, pictured with baby Sarah Marie and her daughter Carly, said: “When the water was turned off, my daughter-in-law was already more than nine months pregnant. Since my son is only 22 and she’s 19, I was already preparing to have them and the baby to stay but this water problem just gave us another thing to worry about. Five days after they arrived, baby Sarah Marie was born.

“The midwife told us that, since Sarah Marie is so young, we shouldn’t give her mineral water – apparently the mineral concentration is too high. So we had been looking everywhere for spring water, which is safe for babies.


“However, the supermarkets that had water could only give out six bottles per person per day, and it takes two bottles just to make feeds and sterilise her bottle. I even need to use it to bathe her. In the end, my neighbour told me to ring the Red Cross – one of her sons is a volunteer, so he knew they were delivering water.

“It was lovely that the Red Cross came so quickly. I called them at 9am and they delivered the water at 1pm! They also gave me nappies, baby wipes and handwash – all these things I hadn’t even thought of. After all, it’s been ten years since I had a baby.

“The three volunteers were so friendly and really chatty. They asked me to get in touch if there was anything else I needed, and said they’d call round again in a few days to give me some more water.”

Find out how we helped during the 2007 UK floods

Prepare yourself for floods and other disasters

Become an emergency response volunteer


Disaster Fund

Help the Red Cross prepare for disasters. Your donation will be used to help people in crisis across the world.

Donate byCard