HRH The Prince of Wales was warmly welcomed to Somerset today by volunteers, Local Authority representatives, members of the emergency services and residents affected by the floods.
He was met by Vice-Chairman of Somerset County Council, Cllr John Denbee, and over 100 other honoured guests at a special reception held at Stoke St Gregory Village Hall before visiting the flood-hit communities of Muchelney and Thorney.
The Prince of Wales spent time talking to members of the farming community, emergency services, Local Authorities, businesses and charities about their experiences of the recent floods which devastated parts of Somerset shortly after Christmas.
Vice-Chairman of Somerset County Council, Cllr John Denbee said: “The Prince’s visit is a tremendous boost for local people, particularly for those whose homes and businesses are adversely affected.”
Justin Sergeant from Somerset Community Foundation was given an even bigger boost by the Prince’s visit. The Foundation was awarded £25,000 from The Prince’s Countryside Fund to the Somerset Emergency Flood Relief fund, which helps victims affected by the floods.
Somerset County Council helped launch the appeal back in November 2012 by providing £50,000 from its emergency contingency fund to help get the campaign off the ground.
Somerset Community Foundation will now use the funding to provide emergency relief grants to small businesses and individuals affected by the flooding. It is hoped this funding will help them meet immediate financial burdens of emergency repairs as well as helping to compensate for loss of income, damage of shop stock and the increased petrol costs of simply getting children to school on extended daily commutes.
Justin said: “The grant from the Prince of Wales Countryside Fund is a superb addition to help us continue essential funding that we’re providing to help communities cope with the crisis. We’re looking forward to the time we can start to help them recover.”
To donate to the Somerset Emergency Flood Relief Fund, please contact 01749 344949 or donation online at www.somersetcf.org.uk.