Our flood heroes: David Cameron praises volunteers for “showing best of British spirit” (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Our flood heroes: David Cameron praises volunteers for “showing best of British spirit”
STORM heroes from Dorset were honoured at a special event hosted by the Prime Minister on Monday.
The flood volunteer reception at Downing Street saw people from across storm and flood-affected regions thanked personally by David Cameron for the work they carried out in their communities.
Nominees from Dorset, put forward by the Daily Echo, included Ken and Wendy Ayres from Iford Bridge Home Park in Bournemouth, and Matt Reeks and Hannah Slade, both from Christchurch and East Dorset Councils.
The Prime Minister thanked the guests for “showing the best of British spirit” and launched a new Points of Light award for outstanding individual volunteers.
Ken and Wendy Ayres, managers of Iford Bridge Home Park, where residents were evacuated twice during the severe weather – including on Christmas Day - said they were “thrilled” to be nominated.
Mrs Ayres said: “It was very nice. Mr Cameron spoke to us all, asked about how we fared and what was happening now.”
Mr Ayres added: “He thanked us for coming and then asked what happened at Christmas.
“We told him we were evacuated twice and said we were in the process of arranging for the homes to be lifted, with some help from Bournemouth council and the Environment Agency.
“He said for us to let him know if there were any problems.”
Housing officer Hannah Slade spent Christmas assisting evacuated residents from Gladelands Caravan Park in Ferndown, while senior ranger Matt Reeks was pivotal in the organising and delivering of sandbags to Christchurch residents before the Valentine’s Day storm.
David McIntosh, chief executive of the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership, said: “It’s very good that the contributions of our staff during the emergency situations have been recognised by the Prime Minister.
“Hannah and Matt went to Downing Street as representatives of all the council workers who went out of their way to help our residents who were affected by the storms.
“I’m very proud that so many of them gave up so much of their own time, especially at Christmas.”
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