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Appeal for flood donations to help rural communities

Appeal for flood donations to help rural communities

The Prince’s Countryside Fund reissues appeal for further public support following last month’s emergency donation.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund (PCF) today reissued its appeal for donations to help its work in support of farmers, rural businesses and communities affected by the recent flooding in Scotland. The fresh appeal follows the PCF’s release in December of £40,000 from its Emergency Fund to support rural communities, farmers and businesses affected by Storm Desmond.

The Prince’s Countryside Fund works alongside The Prince’s Business Emergency Resilience Group (BERG), an initiative of Scottish Business in the Community and Business in the Community, to support the Scottish communities affected and assist in their longer-term recovery by convening big business support in emergencies.

Members of the public and businesses can text PCF to 70300 to make a £3 donation, donate online at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/2015floodappeal or at the Post Office.

Already this month, through its membership of the BERG programme, Asda Huntly has provided two batches of emergency supplies – food and clothing – to the people evicted from their homes in Ballater, with a total value of more than £2000. Asda first received the request for help on the morning of New Year’s Eve and was able to deliver items within hours. Asda’s home shopping drivers delivered items directly to the Victoria Barracks in Ballater. Asda included a special package for a four week old baby amongst those affected, including wipes, nappies, milk and clothing. Asda also has a hardship fund in place to support Asda colleagues whose homes have been affected by the floods. Asda stores in other flood-affected areas have been donating food, cleaning materials and clothing through the Asda Foundation, providing food and drink for volunteers, and Asda colleagues have been helping to clean and provide collection points at stores for anyone who wishes to donate items to their community.  The Asda Foundation has boosted its local disaster fund to £500,000 to help communities cope with the impact of the floods.

£30,000 was donated by the Prince’s Countryside Fund in December to Farming Help Charities, which will benefit Scottish farmers in the rural communities affected and provide immediate financial assistance. The Cumbria Community Foundation received the remaining £10,000 and will be working with voluntary organisations to provide initial hardship grants of £500 to local people affected by the floods.    

If a farm business is affected by flooding they can contact the Farming Help Hotline on 03000 111 999. If businesses or members of the public would like to make a donation to The Flood Appeal 2015 they can Text PCF to 70300 to donate £3, or donate online at www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/2015floodappeal or at the Post Office.

Claire Saunders, Director of The Prince’s Countryside Fund said, “The full impact of the floods has yet to be realised, but many farms have lost livestock drowned in the flood waters, or been affected by landslips, while feed and equipment has been lost. The repairs to bridges, roads and dry stone walls will be an enormous job.

“This is a catastrophic blow to rural businesses which are already hard pressed. We need to act swiftly to help them get back on track. We’re urging farms and rural businesses in trouble in Scotland to ask for help and contact the Farming Help Charities for advice and assistance.”

Mike Still, Chairman of BERG said: “Flooding can cause huge devastation to property, land and the morale of communities, and once flood waters recede and media attention wanes, people still need help to recover. We want to help hard hit rural communities in Scotland get back on their feet and open for business.”

Alex Simpson, chair of the Asda Foundation, said: “This is an extremely challenging time for families and communities in rural areas of Scotland.

“Asda store colleagues have been absolutely fantastic in supporting their neighbours – from joining the clean-ups in their areas to providing emergency supplies to community groups and charities to distribute where they’re needed the most.

“Our store managers and Community Life Colleagues are really leading this drive on the ground and the decision to increase our local disaster fund to £500,000 to help them do this was an easy one for the trustees to make.”