Doncaster flood victim praises charity for its ‘tremendous job’ in getting residents help

More than £1m has been raised to help the victims of the 2019 floods and a Doncaster charity has urged those still undergoing hardship to reach out for support.

Wednesday, 11th November 2020, 4:45 pm

Back in November of 2019 Bentley was one of the worst affected areas that the floods hit.

Eric Czerwionka, who lives on the Bentley caravan park, said: “It was horrendous. We suffered total damage and lost everything.

“There are still people out of their houses now.”

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Ruth E Willis, CEO of SYCF.

Eric, aged 60, was helped by the South Yorkshire Community Foundation when he needed funds to repair the damage to his home.

“They were absolutely brilliant, they did a tremendous job,” he said.

“They have been totally and utterly amazing and we would have been snookered without them.”

The SYCF works across South Yorkshire - here they are photographed at the Muslim Charities Forum Donation. L to R: Michelle Dickinson, Alison Wade, Masoba Kromah, Ruth Willis, Fadi Itani, Anas Abu

Initially when the floods first hit it provided emergency support, then it helped residents repair their homes and now a year on it is finding ways to help the Bentley community long term.

SYCF chief executive, Ruth Willis, said: “If you are still struggling then please reach out and we will help in any way that we can.

“There is still money there to help, we are flexible and look at this on a case by case basis.”

Ruth said that the charity is aware of people who may have received grants in previous phases but new circumstances have arisen that require additional support and that it’s encouraged for them to reach out.

o L to R: Ruth E Willis, Masoba Kromah, Granny Norbag, Alison Wade, Malcolm Hogan, Michelle Dickinson, Peter Foyle.

“Due to emotional and hard circumstances some flood victims simply forgot to ask for what they needed,” she said.

“But that’s ok we’re all human and we won’t turn people away for that.”

Ruth is proud of the charity for its ability to help more than 800 households across South Yorkshire during the last year.

She said it is through the close relationship with local council’s and the strong community spirit in the flooded areas that has made all of their work possible.

“The community is at the forefront of everyone’s minds.”

If you are a flood victim or a community group who wishes to apply for funding you can do so here.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.