Nestlé UK and Ireland's CEO and Chairman Dame Fiona Kendrick has met with York's flood-hit residents to see how the company's donation is helping people to get back on their feet.
Following the Boxing Day floods, Nestlé donated £100,000 to the York Flood Appeal to help provide support to those affected.
(From left: York resident Ross Done, Fiona Kendrick, Chairman and CEO Nestlé UK & Ireland, Philip Ingham, chair of Two Ridings Community Foundation, Tony Birke, of Yorkshire Freemasons North and East Yorkshire)
Speaking at an event hosted by the Two Ridings Community Foundation, the organisation who manages the fund, Dame Fiona Kendrick said:
"As one of the city’s largest employers, we care deeply about the communities in which we live and work and that’s why Nestlé donated to the York Flood Appeal.
“In a tight-knit community like York, it comes as no surprise that many of our employees knew of someone affected by the floods. Many of our people from Nestlé provided practical support in the delivery of vital supplies such as coffee, pet food and bottled water in the immediate aftermath.
“Our aim was to help people affected to get back on their feet and to rebuild their lives and their homes after this awful natural disaster. It is great to be able to visit the city today and see how that donation has helped people and the results of a community working together.”
With match funding from the government, the appeal has now reached £1.3m, however the recovery is still ongoing.
Jan Garrill, CEO of Two Ridings Community Foundation said:
"Grants can replace essentials, but returning home is just the start of recovery for many residents. The stress and anxiety people are still suffering is unimaginable. We have seen families living apart, people losing their jobs - and even made homeless. Many are left with ongoing health and mental health problems.”
"The generosity of corporate donors and individuals has made an enormous difference to how we can help residents rebuild lives that were devastated on Boxing Day.
"As well as giving grants for essential household items, our whole ethos is to be helpful, supportive and understanding of people’s circumstances. That means we do home visits, get to know people and help them get support from other services .”
Ross Done, who lost everything when his basement flat in Huntingdon Road was flooded and is now re-housed in Foss Way, said:
“I don’t know how I would have found the money myself to replace what I lost. The fund provided me with essential white goods and basic furniture. However, it was more than just financial help - the team at Two Ridings Community Foundation helped give me some mental stability. The flood knocked me back and I’m just beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.”
Rotary Clubs in Yorkshire donated £30,000 to the fund. Hazel Haas, District Governor 2015–16 of Rotary International District 1040, which covers 79 Rotary Clubs across Yorkshire, commented:
“Rotary clubs in Yorkshire were delighted to respond quickly to the York Flood Appeal Fund. We strive to make a difference to our communities by giving a "hand up", not a handout, enabling social groups and small businesses to get back on their feet and return to their place at the heart of their neighbourhood.”
Two Ridings Community Foundation is urging people affected by the floods to apply for support. For more information and to make an application, please visit www.trcf.org.uk