Covid19 hit my ward in Doncaster while residents in some parts were still dealing with the aftermath of the devastating floods that hit South Yorkshire last November. Councillors here had been supporting and assisting residents at a time when they were at a really low point. This was the second extensive flood in 12 years – people had lost so much – and we were supporting them through despair, destruction, heartache and then the process of trying to rebuild their homes and lives.
In February, when there was still a real risk of secondary flooding, along came Covid19. Home repairs hadn’t started, insurance companies were refusing to do assessments and surveys hadn’t been completed. Some residents were still living upstairs or in caravans on their drives. The financial impact has been immense.
We helped with grant applications to provide the basics. We organised food donations, clothing, cleaning materials and community clean up days. We thought we were getting on top of things but Covid19 really set us back.
Residents were furloughed and locked down. Work on properties had to stop. We set up a foodbank to help the most vulnerable, families in crisis, and residents who lost their jobs.
We linked up with other areas to share ideas and tackle many of the other issues laid bare by this crisis. On top of that we helped with prescription pickups, shopping and at the very least – just quick call to check people are ok. We’re determined to be there, on their side when they need us.