A Halifax vicar has a very special date next week – a reception at Downing Street on behalf of all the flood heroes of the Calder Valley.
The Revd Angela Dick, vicar of Christ Church, Sowerby which became the main hub for the clean up and support operations after flooding devastated many parts of the Calder valley on Boxing Day in the wake of Storm Eva, is to represent all those who worked tirelessly to help others.
Said Angela:"I feel very honoured and privileged to be able to represent all those people from Christ Church, the Calder Valley and beyond who worked tirelessly and sacrificially in the days following the floods to meet the needs of those so badly affected.”
Angela will attend the reception next Monday at Downing Street as Chancellor, George Osborne announced £700m in the budget for flood defences in those areas worse hit by the flooding - including the Calder Valley.
Many communities and businesses were devastated in the Calder Valley including Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, the Cornholme, Walsden and Todmorden areas after flooding hit on Boxing Day.
Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge set itself up as a hub for shelter, as a point of contact and for flood and clean-up donations immediately after the floods hit - and donations came from far and wide – with duvets, blankets, offers of beds, food and cleaning equipment.
Further up the valley, the Revd Jeanette Roberts opened up St Peter’s in Sowerby and most parishes across the deanery and in the wider Huddersfield Episcopal Area teamed up with offers of help, donations and support.
Cornholme, Walsden and Todmorden were particularly severely hit and many people had to live in the upper floors of their homes or had to move, including church members. Rachel Brandwood, a member of St Peter's Walsden helped set up the Todmorden hub and co-ordinate the Calder Valley Flood Support Facebook forum. The Todmorden Hub model was then rolled out to Hebden Bridge with the teams working across Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd.
As well as this the Todmorden Food Drop-in team (St Mary's Church) provided a safe space and refreshments for people when the Town Hall Hub was closed at night in the initial days as support was put in place.
The Halifax MP, Holly Lynch set up a parliamentary office in Christ Church, Sowerby Bridge to give people advice and help and the Bishop of Huddersfield visited the areas to see the devastation first hand.
Over in Hebden Bridge, the vicar, the Revd Howard Pask organized an interfaith service where Sikhs and Muslims came together and pledged support to those devastated by Storm Eva.
In Ovenden, St George’s Church helped run a pop up shop in the Woolshops Shopping Centre, Halifax, to raise money for the Calderdale Flood Aid pot.