12 April 2016 - Award Winners Donate Prize To Flood Community They Helped

Flood Award

From left to right: Wyn Dignan (Chair), Michael Huddart (NWAS Operations Manager), Sarah Graham (Paramedic), Bob Williams (CEO)

Staff from North West Ambulance Service that responded to the devastating floods which swept across the region in December last year are continuing to help local communities get back on their feet after donating their recent award prize to the Cumbria Flood Appeal.

At the Service’s Staff Awards in March, Trust Chair Wyn Dignan presented a Special Commendation award to the extraordinary efforts of all members of staff who worked tirelessly and in difficult conditions to reach patients and those stranded by the rising water levels.

As Cumbria bore the brunt of the catastrophic weather, communities were cut off due to road and bridge collapses, power was lost to tens of thousands of homes and major hospitals and countless properties and businesses were flooded and even in some cases destroyed.

In the immediate and following days operational staff continued to report to work or volunteered to return to work, knowing that their own homes, ambulance stations, villages and communities were in peril.

Examples of dedication to duty saw some staff that couldn’t get home sleep in local hospitals, others waded through waist deep water just to get to work and many came in just to help out and support their colleagues.

Receiving the award on behalf of all Trust staff Michael Huddart, Peter Mulcahy and Sarah Graham thought it would be fitting to donate the £50 voucher they won alongside the award to the Cumbria Flood Appeal.

Michael Huddart, Operations Manager at NWAS said: “Our staff worked incredibly hard to provide support to the local communities affected during the flooding last December. The perseverance, team spirit and fortitude shown was extraordinary.

“Those who suffered these awful events are still dealing the consequences today and it may only be a small gesture but it felt wrong for any member of staff to receive financial gain whilst those affected are not even back in their houses yet and may not be for many months. “

Andy Beeforth, Cumbria Community Foundation Chief Executive said: "During the December floods the emergency services worked long hours in extreme conditions, helping communities and providing support, despite some of them having been flooded themselves. 

"We have been able to distribute £2.8 million to local people in real hardship to help them clean-up and dry out their homes. Every penny donated is very much welcomed and is greatly received by those seriously affected by the flooding. We are truly humbled by the support from the North West Ambulance Service.”

You can find out more about the Flood Appeal and Cumbria Community Foundation at www.cumbriafoundation.org