Following the unprecedented and devastating floods of last weekend, university staff and students have been involved in a remarkable response, both within the university and the local communities.
The university’s Fusehill Street campus sports hall in Carlisle transformed into the largest relief distribution centre in the county. The university made the facilities available at the request of Greystone Community Centre.
Volunteers from the Rotary Club in Carlisle, Students’ Union and university staff are working in shifts to man the centre between the hours of 9am and 5pm on week days and 9am to 4pm weekends. Items available include clothes and shoes for men, women and children, bedding and blankets, food and water, cleaning materials and storage boxes.
Anyone who has been affected by the floods is invited to collect what they need. Further donations of cleaning products are still required now that the clean-up operation is underway. The sports centre facilities and showers are also available for local residents displaced by the floods to use.
In addition, student volunteers are visiting some of the worst hit areas in Carlisle to offer their help to the public and make them aware of support available. They have now begun to pack bags of basic supplies, including milk, tinned goods and cleaning products and are distributing them to those most in need in the community. The students are also collecting public donations.
Budding visual arts students from the Brampton Road campus are designing and producing a pack of postcards on the theme of ‘To Cumbria with love’. They will be sold in aid of the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund. The university is covering the cost of the initial print run.
Furthermore, the university is organising a collection for victims of the floods which will be donated to the Flood Recovery Fund.
Lynn Bewley, Communications and Events Manager at the University of Cumbria, said: “Despite extraordinary conditions the university’s staff and students have given up their time to muck in and lend a hand to those in the greatest of need. I am extremely proud of the dedication and enthusiasm they have shown regardless of the fact that many have been affected by the floods themselves. They are a credit to this university and also the wider community.”
Kati Brown, Volunteer Facilitator, University of Cumbria’s Students’ Union said, “We run volunteering projects with many organisations throughout the year. We are looking to extend projects into 2016 with a focus on helping to resolve the situation for the flood victims of Carlisle and Lancaster.”