Volunteers from The Salvation Army were out in force helping people affected by the floods in the southwest and southeast of England.
In Bridgwater, Somerset, The Salvation Army was on hand to offer a listening ear to people affected by the severe weather at a rest centre organised by Sedgemore District council. The rest centre offered people a place of safety and calm with local residents donating clothes and food to the centre for people affected by the floods.
The London South-East emergency support vehicle, based at Croydon, was sent to Maidenhead Corps (church) in Central South Division so that The Salvation Army could support the additional firefighters drafted to the area, with food and drinks being given out to the emergency services. Slough and Dunstable Corps were supporting, and Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services worked closely with The Salvation Army to ensure volunteers were updated with the movement of emergency service personnel.
The Salvation Army dropped off food, with the assistance of the fire service, to those who have been stranded by the floods in Egham.
Two Salvation Army mobile canteens were deployed to Kenley Pumping Station, Purley in South London which was in danger of being flooded.
A team also went to Yalding in Kent and Bridge, near Canterbury, handing out much-needed food and hot drinks to responders. Kent County Council requested The Salvation Army provide a shuttle service for isolated pensioners in the village of Kingston, when bus services were disrupted.
Hadleigh Farm, working with Essex Young Farmers, has also sent haylage and silage animal feed and straw to farmers in the South West.
Our National Emergency Response Co-ordinator said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the floods. The Salvation Army is part of the community and when something affects that community then we are always there to support them. Our emergency response teams are working hard to support those whose homes have had to be evacuated or affected in other ways. As always, we'll continue to provide support to emergency services, and those affected for as long as we're needed."
The Salvation Army has set up an emergency support centre at its church in Staines, Surrey, which is acting as a food collection point for victims of the floods. It is also a rest centre and feeding station for emergency services and military personnel who are helping those affected as well as volunteers dropping off food to those in need. We are working in conjunction with Surrey County Council, and would like to thank Tesco which is contributing food to the centre. The corps also has a mobile canteen that has been working at numerous sites where work is being undertaken to build dams.
Our church in Addlestone, near Staines in Surrey, was turned into a distribution point for food, toiletries and cleaning equipment, with a team of volunteers sorting through donations and delivering them to agencies and emergency services for distribution to people affected by the floods in the area.
The minister (officer) in charge of the church, Major Ian Loxley, said: "We have about 1,000 homes affected here. We are starting to get people coming to us in need of food and clothing. We have also found that people living in mobile homes in the area have been particularly in need of our assistance."
Reading Central Corps provided packed lunches and hot drinks to firefighters working to help those whose homes have been flooded.
“Thank you to all our volunteers who stepped in to help.”