Rural communities across the UK are being urged to donate to a fund to help flood-stricken families in Somerset.
Villages on the Somerset Levels have now been under water for six weeks, with homeowners and farmers forced to leave their properties.
Now leading rural network ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is asking people nationwide to show their support by donating to the Somerset Emergency Flood Relief Fund.
“We have such close links with rural communities and can see that the extent of the flood damage goes much further than the physical."
Set up by the Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), the fund aims to support victims through their ordeal over the coming weeks and months. Donations have already reached £170, 000 with a target of £250,000.
ACRE’s local member, the Community Council for Somerset, has been working with the SCF to ensure that donations get to the right people as quickly as possible. One elderly couple with disabilities were given a £250 grant within 24 hours to help them find a temporary home when their bungalow flooded.
ACRE chief executive Janice Banks said: “I am sure TV viewers across the country will have seen the dramatic pictures of rising floodwater in Somerset and wondered how they would cope if it happened to them.
“Rural communities are fantastic at supporting each other and we’re asking people across the country to make a donation, however small, to the area worst hit by the recent rains.”
Community Council for Somerset Chief Executive Katherine Armstrong said: “Somerset has been suffering since December. There is no sign of a let-up and more and more villages are going under. There’s simply nowhere for the water to go.
“We have such close links with rural communities and can see that the extent of the flood damage goes much further than the physical.
“We know that others living in rural communities across the UK will understand the nature of the crisis and the need for financial help. Spare a thought for those families, businesses and individuals who have lost homes and businesses. Please help – the smallest donations will go further than you think.”