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How we're helping with the clean-up operation after the recent floods

Now that the recent storms are over the big clean-up operation can begin!

Dawn wearing protective mask

It’s hard to imagine the devastation that people are returning to – these pictures, taken by Asda Taunton colleague Dawn Hackney, show the scale of the task facing residents now the floodwater is going down.

Flooded lounge

Dawn says: "Carpets and flooring all need to be taken out. When you see all the press reports on the news you don’t think about things like fridges and freezers – being a rural community people freeze a lot. After four weeks without power sitting in floodwater you can imagine clearing them out is stomach churning!

Flooded kitchen

“However as volunteers we take on any job we can to ease the stress on the residents, using basic face masks and rubber gloves we get on with it.”

Dawn has also been taking donated food from customers at Asda Taunton to the Somerset Relief Centre – a huge warehouse where evacuated residents and those facing hardship can “shop” free of charge.

Asda Bridgwater helped set up the Relief Centre. As well as providing donations of food and clothing colleagues also organised delivery of 60 shopping trolleys, 2000 bags, 200 pallets, 500 trays and 100 George rails to help lay out the donated goods – and a 40ft chiller unit! Colleagues have also given their time and advice to make sure the goods are displayed in the best way to make it easier for everyone.

Bridgwater store manager Rob says: "We have donated whatever the community has needed – everything from food and cleaning products to individual items such as a pair of size three wellies for a little girl who split hers.

“On Saturday we donated a microwave, toaster and kettle along with a trolley of essential shopping to an elderly couple who have just been allocated rented accommodation after spending four weeks homeless, losing everything when their own house was flooded to the roof.”

Sandy West, Community Champion at Asda Weymouth and a borough councillor for Weymouth and Portland, helped organise a beach clean-up operation on Chesil beach at the weekend.

The beach, a beautiful stretch of coastline between Weymouth and Portland, is a tourist destination but was devastated by the severe storms.

Sandy, who met David Cameron when he visited the area last month, told us before the clean-up: “The whole beach is a wreck. It’s shocking – an absolute state. The pebbles came over with the waves and just decimated the area.”

More than 100 volunteers responded to an appeal on Facebook and turned up to help. Asda provided refreshments for everyone thanks to a donation from the Asda Foundation.

Need help? If you think we could help in your area please get in touch with our Community Champions at your local store.

Posted in News & Blogs on 06 March 2014