Thanks given to those who showed “Bedford Borough’s incredible community spirit”

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Bedford Borough River Great Ouse Floods December 2020
Volunteers filling sandbags. Credit: Gurwinder Singh Bassi

Bedford’s Mayor has thanked volunteers and organisations who displayed “Bedford Borough’s incredible community spirit” by helping those affected when the River Great Ouse burst its banks over the Christmas bank holiday.

Read: Communities rally together as Bedford battles floods

While there have been countless individual acts of kindness and support, voluntary groups and businesses also swung into action to support the 1,300 households whose properties were at risk and the many families who had to leave their homes or were left without power and heating.

Elstow Landscapes, Beds & Cambs 4×4 Response, Khalsa Aid International, SEVA Trust and Sri Guru Ravidass Sabha Bedford were just some of those who provided support.

They helped get people to safety, provided hot meals and warm clothing and worked alongside Bedford Borough Council’s emergency assistance centres at Bedford International Athletic Stadium and Bromham Village Hall.

Online, local community Facebook pages Bedford Kindness and We Are Bedford helped connect local people with those who could help and provide much-needed information.

Meanwhile, small residents’ Facebook groups, like Harrold Noticeboard, were able to give up-to-the-minute information about the fast-changing situation from the scene, thanks to neighbours sharing regular updates.

“A huge thank you must go to all the organisations, groups and volunteers who have been part of the response to this flood,” said Mayor Dave Hodgson.

“From Council officers, emergency services, local flood groups, the very many volunteer groups who supported the effort and the numerous offers of support we received from the public, thank you to you all.

“It really does speak to Bedford Borough’s incredible community spirit.”

Food parcel efforts stepped up

SEVA Trust UK set up a team of volunteers ready to deliver staple food to families in need, despite many of them being on holiday, spending time with their families over Christmas.

The trust has been delivering food parcels in Bedford to the elderly, vulnerable people, students & families facing hardships due to COVID-19 since March.

“We never anticipated that the floods can hit Bedford so hard,” said Charan Sekhon
Chairman of SEVA Trust UK.

“We have been overwhelmed by support offers by our volunteers who were all on holidays after we decided to take one week’s Christmas break following a very tough long year delivering food parcels.”

Supporting families affected in North Bedfordshire villages and Bedford, SEVA Trust volunteers liaised with community support teams to identify families in need of urgent food help.

“During Christmas time so many families are facing tough times and it is our duty to support our local communities in any way we can,” added Charan.

If anyone is still in need of staple foods then you can contact the SEVA Trust at info@sevatrustuk.org or by calling/texting 07417478274.