Volunteers from humanitarian charity Penny Appeal are heading back to Carlisle over the next two weekends to continue their support for those affected by devastating floods last winter.
They will be assisting with redecorating and renovation work at Greystone Community Centre and the home of a retired couple nearby, both of which were badly damaged by Storm Desmond in December 2015.
Dozens of members of #TeamOrange, the name of Penny Appeal’s volunteer and fundraising family, will be helping out over the weekends of 28-29 May and 4-5 June, doing everything from removing damaged furniture to painting walls. They will be joined by Abdullah Afzal, comedian and star of BBC’s Citizen Khan, who will be getting involved with the work and giving moral support.
Work takes place on the first weekend at Greystone Community Centre. Over 2,500 people used the centre in the immediate aftermath of the floods, and it remained open 24 hours a day for two weeks to provide shelter and food. Redecoration is desperately needed, but with higher bills to pay as a result of the additional use, the centre’s finances are stretched.
The following weekend the team will visit the home of Diane and George Russell, which suffered extensive damage as water levels rose. Despite battling cancer, Mr Russell, an ex-plasterer and tradesman, has managed to do some work himself, but the couple are now faced with bigger tasks than they can manage. They were identified as in need of practical help by House to Home, a project set up through Give a Day to the City to support residents affected by the floods.
Harris Iqbal, UK Programmes Coordinator at Penny Appeal, said: “Our #TeamOrange volunteers never fail to amaze us with their dedication to helping others and we’re proud to be able to go back to Carlisle and offer further support to the community.
“There’s a lot of work still to be done right across the region, but when people come together it’s amazing what can be achieved, and it’s this ethos that Penny Appeal’s projects and people are especially great at showing.”
For further information on Penny Appeal’s work in the UK and to donate, visit www.pennyappeal.org or call 03000 11 11 11.