Disaster relief charity lends a hand closer to home in a ‘first’ for the Piers Simon Appeal

A Somerset based disaster relief charity has turned its attention much closer to home, donating £1,500 to the D1200 Flooding Appeal to help those affected by the recent flooding in the county. This is the first time that funds from the Piers Simon Appeal – which usually provides aid to poor, vulnerable and disaster affected children in developing countries – have been used to support a project within the UK.

image001Rotary District 1200 has been a great supporter of the Piers Simon Appeal and its School in a Bag initiative, so Charity Liaison Officer Luke Simon said they jumped at the chance to be able to reciprocate some of the goodwill and generosity they have been lucky enough to receive from the Rotary in the past.

“The Piers Simon Appeal is only too happy to donate to the Rotary District 1200 ‘Flood Relief’ Appeal to support the excellent work they are doing for the flood victims on the Somerset Levels,” he said.

“We have sent money to water related disaster victims thousands of miles away in Thailand, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh so in some respects it feels strange to be helping UK victims only 10 miles away from home. However, excessive water has one thing in common the world over, that is to incapacitate the infrastructure of communities and this is certainly true for those who livelihoods are based on the Somerset Levels.”

Brian Kirkup, District Governor of Rotary 1200, says, “The generosity of the Piers Simon Appeal is much appreciated and will help us in our efforts to get the people affected by the storms in our District back on their feet. The relief fund will be used to meet pressing needs where no other financial help is available and Rotary’s support will last as long as help is needed, which is likely to be until the end of this calendar year. In the unlikely event that the fund is not exhausted, any surplus will be placed in trust ready to meet any future similar emergency in the District. Rotary will create a disaster and resilience committee as part of its future District structure.”

Rotarians have been giving physical as well as financial support, for example manning the aid centre, laying paths, removing sandbags, and helping with the clear up. Rotary clubs are being asked to adopt a number of houses and respond to the householders’ requests with funding for dehumidifiers, power spray equipment, replacing business equipment, replacing goods where insurance does not apply and cleaning materials.

For more information on the Piers Simon Appeal please visit www.pierssimonappeal.org