The two year Anniversary of the Boxing Day floods has passed us by and what a productive two years it has been. The achievements made in Flood recovery in Calderdale have been quite amazing. A huge collective effort from major players to individuals in the community.
The monies raised to support the recovery have been phenomenal, The Community Foundation For Calderdale raised over £3.2 million in the largest flood appeal to date in Calderdale. Monies are still being distributed in top up grants to supplement the resilience grants provided by Calderdale Council. The resilience grants have Provided opportunities for households and businesses to make changes to their properties to make them as flood resilient as possible.
Large flood resilience schemes by Calderdale council and Environment Agency sit alongside natural flood management solutions by Slow The Flow and Treesponsibility. Calderdale sits in a challenging environment where a sole solution just doesn’t cut the mustard.
Schemes such as FloodSave by The Community Foundation For Calderdale And Calderdale Credit Union have allowed flood hit homes and businesses to access match funded savings to provide them with financial aid in future flood events. FloodSave is available to those businesses, community groups, charities at risk of flooding and homes that are not covered by FloodRE. Again another measure to aid flood recovery if the worst happens.
60 flood wardens have been recruited into 9 flood groups, this is a true testament to how passionate the communities of Calderdale are about resilience and preparation . Volunteers are giving up their time to protect their neighbours. This volume of volunteers has attracted attention from Calder Valley Search and Rescue who have carried out water safety training and first aid training free of charge. Valuable expertise that will allow wardens to follow out tasks with confidence and not put themselves at risk.
We are proud that Watermark has played a part in the flood recovery in Calderdale, Watermark Flood Fund is a proactive response to the flooding, created by Chris Sands of Totally Locally and The Community Foundation For Calderdale. With an aim to grow a pot of money that can be distributed to households and businesses immediately in the event of a major flood event in Calderdale. It works in a few ways, shops or businesses can sell a Watermark product, and a percentage (or all) the profits go into a fund, events can be run in aid of Watermark, donations are welcome at any time and we are open to new ideas that can benefit the fund.
The Watermark Fund has raised over £240k with the help of 65+ members actively donating and championing the project to raise awareness and draw attention. In order to keep the Watermark Flood Fund running efficiently and effectively we seek external funding to allow staff to manage the fund and keep momentum in peace time. We have been fortunate enough to attract funding to date and our most recent support of £20,000 from Calderdale Council has been gratefully received.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, Cllr Barry Collins, said:
We’re delighted to support Watermark in its campaign to build a resilience fund for our towns to use in the event of future flooding.
Since the last major flooding event in Calderdale in 2015, Watermark has become an excellent example of how local businesses and residents can pull together to help each other through difficult circumstances, while building a real sense of community.
The additional funding of £20,000 we have helped secure is part of our flood recovery and resilience fund, and will help Watermark support even more people and businesses locally, and we’re glad to be a part of that.