PEOPLE from Goring have been praised for their speedy response in the wake of Storm Frank.
Army veteran Dean Worm and his family decided to act when they saw the damage being done in the north of England.
Siblings Tom and Lauren posted leaflets in the streets around their home, with the help of friends, and a collection point was set up at 45F (Worthing) Squadron, Air Training Corps, in Victoria Road, on New Year’s Eve.
Just hours later, Dean, his good friend Steve, and Tom were on the road with a van loaded with donated goods.
Dean said: “Bare in mind that we only had this idea on New Year’s Eve, and on New Year’s Day we had a large Luton van for free from icanhire courtesy of the owner, Jon Ash.
“We then set up a collection point at the Worthing air cadets’ headquarters and collected donations there from 12pm. We had to stop at 5pm, then we set off up north with no plan.
“By the time we had reached the M25, we had offers of accommodation from complete strangers and a direction of were we had to go. We ended up in Kirkstall, Leeds.
“I would like to say a big thank you to the people of Goring. We managed to get out to only around five to six streets in the Singleton Crescent area.”
A Facebook group, MOD Veterans Storm Force Assistance, was set up to support the project.
Bekki Peacock, who offered accommodation, wrote on the site: “They worked very hard indeed. I still can’t believe the time and the effort that you have all put into helping the people of our city. Absolutely amazing! Thank you so, so much to all of you and to all of the people from your community for your fantastic donations. You are all absolute diamonds.”
As well as delivering blankets, clothes, provisions and other items, the trio also set to work helping to build a flood barrier for Taylor Bros steel works.
Dean said it was a temporary wall designed to slow down the flooding.
“It will never stop it but hopefully slow it down or help move it along,” he added.
Dean and Tom were back in Goring by Sunday evening.
Dean said: “The donations given by some of the residents of Goring were amazing, considering we only decided to do this run on New Year’s Eve.
“My son, daughter and their friends handed out leaflets covering around five to six streets before it became too cold and wet. And this was our amazing response – just think what we could have done if we had given more people more notices than 12 hours.”
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