The University of Cumbria’s Pro Vice Chancellor, Sandra Booth, met with Ian Burke, Trustee of Cumbria Community Foundation, on Monday 18 January to hear how funds university staff donated to the foundation’s emergency flood response were used to assist local people in need.
The funds were collected at staff Christmas lunches which took place on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 December. Donations mounted to £1075.08 in cash which the university then match-funded to make up to a total of £2150.16. The majority of donations were a eligible for gift-aid meaning the foundation could apply for 25% more funds from the government.
The university’s Pro Vice Chancellor, Sandra Booth said, “a great number of staff and students contributed to the university’s emergency response, putting in long hours over the days, evenings and weekends that followed the initial floods. I am tremendously proud of their efforts and generosity, not only for their donations but also for giving up their time to help others in need.”
Ian Burke, Trustee, Cumbria Community Foundation thanked the university for its generous donation. He said, “it is fantastic to hear that students and staff from the University of Cumbria have been so generous. Cumbria Community Foundation has now distributed £1 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. A big thank you to all who have donated so far.”
The university formed an integral part in the community’s flood response in Carlisle. Both staff and students volunteered their time and resources to help local people in need.
The university opened a temporary distribution centre at its Fusehill Street campus sports centre in Carlisle. The centre became the largest relief distribution depot in the county, housing and distributing donations to flood victims.
Volunteers from the Carlisle Rotary Club, Students’ Union and university staff worked in shifts to man the centre between the hours of 9am and 5pm on week days and 9am to 4pm weekends. Items available included clothes and shoes, bedding and blankets, food and water, cleaning materials and storage boxes.
Both members of the public and businesses donated goods to the centre including 20 pallets of clothing from Sainsburys, £16K worth of goods from Aldi as well as crates of cleaning products, tin openers and storage containers from Asda.
Since it opened, the centre is thought to have helped nearly 3000 people. The university made the sport centre facilities available from Monday, 7 until Wednesday 23 December, when the university closed for the Christmas break.
Staff at the University of Cumbria’s Lancaster campus also donated funds to the Lancashire Community Foundation flood fund. £1488.54 was collected bringing the total amount donated to both community funds to £3638.70.