A HARDSHIP fund is being set up for residents of flood-hit Iford Bridge Home Park.

Residents were evacuated twice over the holiday period – including early on Christmas morning – and are only just starting to return to their homes after leaving once more a week ago.

Iford Baptist Church, opposite the park entrance, became a refuge during the crisis and is now leading the setting up of a fund to help those in need.

Revd David Auger, from the church, said several others would be helping.

He told the Daily Echo: “I’ve been in contact with a number of churches and I’m getting responses.

“The idea is we’re getting a hardship fund together. Some of the residents have got away fairly lightly, but there are a few that have lost their homes, so we want to target those in most need.”

David said around 20 homes had been flooded and it was thought about half a dozen would have to be removed.

He added: “The idea is that the church will hold the fund but the residents’ association will help us target it.”

Flood warnings have now been lifted but the council said yesterday that “unpredictable” weather forecasts meant the park was still at risk.

It said another evacuation would be considered if the situation worsened once more.

The council said it had teams on standby 24 hours a day and would be offering support to those unable to return because of water damage.

David said people wanting to donate should make cheques payable to Iford Baptist Church and mark them ‘Home Park Relief’ on the reverse.

They should be sent to Iford Baptist Church, Old Bridge Road, Iford, Bournemouth, BH6 5RG.

The church office can be contacted on 01202 488133 or e-mail david.auger@ifordbaptistchurch.co.uk