February 9th 2020: Flood Update

Watermark Flood Fund Calderdale

The team at The Community Foundation for Calderdale are aware, monitoring and assisting with the flood affected areas today.

Once the extent of the Storm Ciara floods are assessed, the Watermark Flood Fund will be opened and able to receive any claims.

It is still an ongoing situation, our thoughts are with those affected and the office will be manned tomorrow and staff will we available on 01422 349 700

Watermark Pop Up Cafe

watermark pop up cafe

We’re having a pop up cafe at Mytholmroyd Flood Alleviation Scheme. Pop in and join us for a cuppa and a chat, cakes, biscuits and locally made coffee from Happy Days Cycles and Cafe in Sowerby Bridge who support the fund.

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Incentivising Household Action On Flooding

flood action

Our latest blog runs through our findings from a recent trip to Westminster where we had the pleasure of  attending a round table discussion by Social Market Foundation on Incentivising Household Action On Flooding.

Attended by Theresa Coffey, under shadow secretary for Environment,  Flood Re, Aviva, Lloyds Banking Group and the chair of Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd and other key players in the flood arena.

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Surveying Flood Resilience

Watermark Flood Fund Calderdale

Over the past few weeks we have been looking at FLOOD RESILIENCE MEASURES in Calderdale, exploring what the communities in Calderdale had done to protect their homes and businesses against future flood threat.

To help us along the way we conducted a short facebook survey to see what people had to say:

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Visit Calderdale

Visit Calderdale

Over the years Calderdale has been hit with catastrophic flooding causing major disruption and heartache for households and businesses, particularly in the Calder Valley (Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd & Sowerby Bridge) but also stretching to Elland & Brighouse.

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FloodSave Case Study – Waterhouse Podiatry Hebden Bridge


Waterhouse Podiatry and Chiropody is based in the centre of Hebden Bridge and run by owner/podiatrist Wendy Waterhouse, Wendy is focused on providing a quality, comprehensive, chiropody / podiatry service. Serving Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, Walsden, Mytholmroyd, Luddenden, Halifax and surrounding areas.

Wendy moved into her business premises after the Boxing Day floods of 2015 and was aware that the building had been flooded, with this in mind Wendy wanted to make sure she had done everything she could to protect herself. We asked Wendy a number of questions to see how FloodSave is going to benefit her business.

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be prepared for flooding

The sun might be shining and the threat of flooding may be at the back of your mind but there’s never a better time to prepare than NOW, preparation is the key and can help you feel in control when the chaos of flooding rears it’s ugly head.

Prepare a flood plan, if you have been flooded before you will know how quickly waters can rise and panic sets in. Having a plan gives you focus and allows you to prioritise. Put your flood plan and any other important documents out of flood risk. You should include the following in your plan:

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Community Flood Action Groups

Flood Wardens Calderdale

Community Flood Action groups are a group of volunteers from the local area who provide the eyes and ears on the ground for the Environment Agency and other connected organisations such as Calderdale Council and Calder Valley Search and Rescue. There are currently eight groups dotted along the Calder Valley, eight recognised areas where regular flooding occurs.

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Watermark Floodsave

watermark floodsave savings

WATERMARK FLOODSAVE is a match funded savings scheme for businesses and homes who are not covered by the floodRe scheme. A unique flood savings scheme that can protect you financially against flooding.

£500,000 has been set aside from the money raised for the flood fund, to create the WATERMARK FLOODSAVE scheme.

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Watermark Gin Tasting

watermark gin tasting

As the wind down for Christmas took hold the new Watermark office opened it’s doors to let people savour the flavour of the eagerly awaited Watermark gin. With nibbles, ice, lemon and tonic we wasted no time in cracking open the bottle and experiencing the exceptional flavours of the gin.

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June’s Story

Watermark Flood Fund Calderdale Shop Hebden Bridge

June popped into the hub to see us last week with her trusty companion, a friendly face with a story to tell. June had initially come to see if we could arrange for some of her furniture to be recycled. It actually turned into an hour of lovely conversation where we found out how the floods had ruined June’s home on Boxing Day 2015.

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Watching On Tv Doesn’t Prepare You….

man wading through flood water hebden bridge

By Trish Wood

Watching the flood devastation on TV doesn’t prepare you for the reality of walking along pavements piled high with the entire contents of someone’s home…. especially when almost every pile is topped with the heartbreaking sight of a sodden, battered and filthy Christmas tree still clinging forlornly to its once glittering decorations.

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The Story So Far …

hebden in colour coloring book

Since the launch of Watermark Flood Fund in April it’s been non stop, the response to the project has been huge, we have eighteen businesses and over twenty-five products supporting the Watermark Flood Fund. New products and services are added weekly , it’s really popular,we have lamps,memberships,events,concerts, coffee, books, art work to mention a few. It’s all about businesses and communities working together to look after each other.

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Spotlight On Squidshock Tattoo Co

Squidshock Tattoo Co are based in the heart of Sowerby Bridge.

Jonny and his team at Squidshock were badly affected by the Boxing day 2015 floods, the shop was destroyed along with all the tattoo equipment and furniture. Jonny wasted no time in clearing and re-fitting the shop along with many volunteers and helpers and managed to get back to business as soon as possible.

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Spotlight on Pennine-Pack

Pennine-pack hebden bridge

Pennine-Pack is a family run environmental consultancy, specialising in ‘the packaging regs’

Pennine-Pack was set up to meet the needs of businesses in West Yorkshire who want to be members of a compliance scheme where they know who they are dealing with and where their individual needs can be met with practical face-to-face support at a sensible price.

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Just giving – Just loads!

sowerby bridge west yorkshire flooded

By Steve Duncan – Community Foundation For Calderdale

The Calder Valley Flood Appeal – Time to Reflect Boxing Day

As a new year approached and I was tucking into some tasty Boxing Day fayre with my wife Alex and parents in Thirsk, the BBC News came on showing unbelievable scenes of flooding in Sowerby Bridge, Mytholmroyd and in numerous places across Calderdale. The images that most struck me showed floating cars in front of the new Sowerby Bridge swimming pool; this was my home town under water. It was shocking and unreal!

I turned to Alex and my parents and told them that this would be the end of the Christmas holiday for me. I needed to get to the office and co-ordinate our response to the unfolding disaster.

My colleague at the Community Foundation for Calderdale, Emma Woods-Bolger, also had her Boxing day festivities rudely interrupted – and she quickly uploaded an appeal page onto our website (www.cffc.co.uk) and started posting about the floods and our appeal across our social media accounts.

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Curried away with pies & peace

curried away with pies and peace

Written by Shirley Kumar

(Yes we are going for the cheesiest headline prize!)

Boxing Day 2015: Some 2,720 households and 1,250 businesses watched helplessly as up to 6ft of water engulfed their homes and premises.

Cold, wet and in shock, the last thing the valley folk thought they needed was comfort food. But with chefs bringing curry to the little old lady serving tea and biscuits from a wicker basket – clearly others thought differently. Food was to become a symbol of unity.

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Tales from social media

tales from social media

During the floods, the goodness and humanity of people was laid out for all to see across social media, and particularly on the facebook groups of Calderdale. As time went on these beautiful stories got lost below posts on insurance, Government actions and more. We wanted to share them for posterity, and to help us remember the time when we all came together. We live in a beautiful place.

Christine Davenport 31st January Halifax

There’s a lot of people in the area who came out to help but didn’t want to be named. They came in silently, mopped, swept, cleared, patrolled, made flood safe’ish, and helped make and distribute sand bags around the town. They saw a chance to help out, blended in without fuss then walked away when they tired. I met a number of these silent heroes while driving and handing out chips and butties with my grandson around the valley through the night. Many didn’t live in the area but came to help. You will probably be watching this site so on behalf of the many people you helped. A very massive thank you from us all here in the valley xx

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The Flood – A children’s book

a flood story book

Artist and writer Rachel Kemp, has written a book for children about the floods in Calderdale simply called ‘The Flood’,  it very quickly became an Amazon best seller. On boxing Day 2015, Storm Eva took it’s toll on the Calder Valley. With enormous floods and devastation, who would have thought this tragedy would pull communities together and with a scrub-a-dub-dub and plenty of muscle, they all worked together in this time of trouble.

The book is called simply The Flood. This is the original artwork from the book. You can find it on Amazon by searching for Rachel Kemp or by clicking here .

Rachel has already received some lovely reviews:

This book is a fabulous summary of the recent events in Calder Valley. The illustrations are fantastic and such a wonderful representation of the area.

***** Beautifully written.

Lovely little story explaining not only the floods, but how everyone pulled together to help fix the damage caused and get the Valley back on its feet.
Beautifully illustrated, my two year old daughter enjoyed finding different
things in the pictures. I highly recommend.