Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Benfleet firms band together to help flood victims
7:01pm Tuesday 18th February 2014 in News
COMPANIES on a Benfleet industrial estate have banded together to help out flood victims hundreds of miles away.
Castle Point Motors, on the Manor Trading Estate in Armstrong Road, has offered its warehouse and are urging people to donate items that will be sent to the flood-hit south of the country.
The firm is asking people to donate to the cause from today, and will transport the goods to places like the Somerset Levels and Yalding in Kent, which have been most affected.
1st Event Limosuines and Marden Signs, also on the estate, are lending a hand as well.
Alan Foster, who owns the company, said they were planning to take the donations at the weekend.
He said: “On Saturday when I came into work I was watching the news and I felt so guilty I could get up and make a cup of tea, but thousands of other people aren’t able to.
“We don’t want to take all the glory with this as it is a joint effort, and it’s all about trying to help out the affected areas as much as possible, as a lot of them have lost their homes and are in temporary accommodation.
“Canvey has been affected locally by the adverse weather, but this is on a completely different scale. It is completely lifechanging, and this is why we want to help.”
The group are hoping to collect water, food, clothes, and toiletries for people who have been subjected to the wettest weather the country has seen for 250 years.
Swathes of the UK are affected by the flooding, from Somerset to Berkshire, with thousands forced out of their homes.
It has led to volunteers setting up an online network, flood volunteers.co.uk, allowing people to sign up to offer their services.
Rahul Ahuja, who set up the site last week, and has seen the network grow massively, is helping co-ordinate the aid in Canvey.
He said: “The whole volunteering effort around the whole country has been so impressive.
“To see this company donate its time, a storage warehouse, and pay its own fuel costs to transport the donations is so impressive.”
Anyone who wants to help can take donations to Castle Point Motors, 31 Armstrong Road, Benfleet, SS7 4PW.