Colleagues rally round to help flooding victims of Storm Dennis

February 20, 2020

A massive thank you to all our colleagues who've worked tirelessly to help people affected by the flooding caused by Storm Dennis.

Colleagues from our stores close to the worst-hit areas across the UK have been helping with the clean-up operations, handing out cleaning products, food parcels and essential items such as clothing, blankets and personal hygiene items.

The Asda Foundation has provided support to over 2,000 affected households through a combination of individual grants and larger, more strategic community grants.

Stores providing support through grants and outreach work have included Aberdare, Blackwood, Cwmbran, Carphilly, Caldicot, Dewsbury, Gorseinon, Halifax, Hereford, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Swansea, Tonypandy and Ystalyfera .

Our Merthyr Tydfil store's community champion Sarah Williams says the situation has been heartbreaking, but she and the rest of the team wanted to do whatever they could to help.

She said: "I've had people coming into store in tears. We've been helping in whatever way we can."

One of the worst-affected places was the nearby village at Troedyrchiu, which suffered heavy flooding and a landslide.

Sarah said: "Residents have been evacuated to a community centre. Some of them have lost everything, some have no clothes at all. In some homes the water was up to shoulder length in some places.

"A lot have lived there for 40 years and never seen anything like it. There were no real warnings."

She said the store had been handing out donations of water, tinned food, cleaning products and clothing to those affected.

Julie Cook, the community champion from our nearby Aberdare store, has also been helping to hand out donations.

She said: "It's been terrible, just terrible. People living in Mountain Ash, Abercynon and Clifynnd have been hit the worst. It's so sad to see. There's a big community spirit here however and everyone is rallying round."

Asda colleagues, including Julie and Sarah and our Aberdare store manager Rea Raymond, visited Mountain Ash Community Hub, to give out essential cleaning supplies to flood-hit residents.

Rea said: "We've being doing all we can to help. We've been giving out mops, buckets and cleaning equipment to about 70 families.

"People are having to live upstairs in their homes because the downstairs is flooded. They are waiting for the the fire brigade pump out the water. They can't really start cleaning up yet as as it's still raining.

"Everyone here has been really grateful of our help. It's been horrendous for them. The whole community has been affected."

Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter joined our colleagues and the team of volunteers helping in the aftermath of the floods and tweeted this message of thanks:

Julia Ziomek, from the Mountain Ash Community Hub, said she was "very happy" to have had the Asda team helping and handing out supplies.

She said: "They've been a tremendous assistance. It's excellent what they've been doing."

Our Blackwood store donated goods to Llanhilleth Institute, who've been distributing to people in Llanhilleth whose homes have been flooded.

The store's community champion Lucie Brown said: "We've made up hampers of food, towels, mops, buckets and bleach etc to help with the clean up. Some people have lost everything – it's awful.

"We've also donated fresh food and pop to give out to helpers and children too at Llanhilleth Institute, and I've been helping to prepare lunch and evening meals for residents too."

Hayley Davies, community engagement officer at the Institute, said the support from Asda had been "overwhelming".

She said: "I phoned up Asda Blackwood straight away and Lucie there was incredible. She got all the items that we needed – she was absolutely spot on. We were overwhelmed by how sympathetic Asda were and how quickly they acted. Within hours of phoning we'd received the items. It was amazing. Such generosity which has made such a difference.

"We have been able to distribute food parcels not only to the victims of the flooding, but to friends and families who have taken people in too."

At Tonypandy, our store's community champion Karen Thomas has been working with the volunteers at Canolfan Pentre community centre where the Asda Foundation has donated lots of cleaning supplies.

She said: "The devastation left behind by the storm is heartbreaking and it is continuing to rain. There's about 400 to 500 homes in the Pentre area that have been affected.

"We've delivered seven pallets of cleaning supplies such as mops, buckets and rubber gloves to the community centre and, along with the amazing volunteers, we will be distributing them to those most in need. The centre and everyone here very much appreciate our help."

Rhian Walters, from Trehafod Community Village Hall, said they were so grateful for the food donation given by our Tonypandy store for children in the village.

She said: " It’s the generosity you guys have shown that keeps the people affected by the floods going.

"We're a small village and a number of homes have been flooded. We wanted to put on hot food for the children while their parents were helping to clean up. Asda helped us out massively. They've been absolutely brilliant."

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