Phones, mops and kind words - volunteers could help flooded homes and businesses

PICK up the phone, hand over warm blankets or offer to help clean up - this is the rallying cry of a former flood victim who wants to organise people to help out flooded homes and businesses.

After facing two floods and a devastating fire at her former home in Windermere Drive, Warndon, Jayne Johns said it was the help of the community which helped to get her through it.

Now she wants to help people whose homes and businesses have been flooded during the recent bad weather and is hoping others will join her.

Mrs Johns would like to see a band of volunteers formed which can be called on to help wherever it is needed.

Though she did not live by a river, her home was flooded twice as it was based in a dip in the road and water and sewage from the drains flooded her home on two occasions during extremely heavy rain.

In April 2007, she managed to save two of her young children after a fire broke out in her living room destroying the house and all of the family's property.

After the community stepped in to help her replace everything she had lost, Mrs Johns placed a giant banner on her garage thanking them.

The 47-year-old, who now lives in Lilac Avenue, Tolladine, said: "When you lose everything, it is psychologically and emotionally draining.

"Everyone should be rallying around to help everyone who has flooded, if you've got a car you could take some food over or help with some washing.

"People should be doing it now at this devastating time for many people because you can't imagine how devastating it is."

She has already managed to speak to family members who have offered to help people in need and hopes to hear from others who would like to volunteer.

Having lost lots of special mementoes in both of the floods and fires, she advised others at risk of flooding to move anything sentimental upstairs.

"It's not just about what you lose, you have to move out of your home and if you haven't got family or friends or you're lonely or old - where do you turn?"

"If people can help out they should even if it's only giving someone a lift somewhere.

"It might just be one person helping another it will help them get through the devastation.

"There are lots of ways to help - whatever it takes."

Anyone who needs help or would like to offer help should email smith.marijayne@yahoo.co.uk.

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