Burnley mercy mission for victims of Hebden Bridge floods

Flood volunteers
Flood volunteers

HEARTrending stories of families’ homes and businesses wrecked during torrential flooding in Hebden Bridge spurred a Burnley woman and her colleagues to stage a rescue mission.

Worsthorne Beaver Scout Leader Lisa Barnes rallied to help by setting up a “soup kitchen’’ at a town centre supemarket on Tuesday evening, a day after the flood hit.

She told the Express “I saw the flooding on the news and read heartbreaking stories on Facebook about how people’s homes have been hit and decided I couldn’t sit there and do nothing.

“I had to help in any way I could. I contacted Scouts in Yorkshire to make sure we weren’t treading on anyone’s toes and they were more than happy for us to help.

“This is what we do in the Scouting movement, it’s all about helping others in any way we can, it doesn’t matter who or where they are. Some of these people have lost everything, their possessions, furniture, cookers, televisions, everything.’’

Within hours Lisa had recruited fellow Scout leader Peter Shorrock and Burnley’s District Commissioner and Mayor of Padiham Coun. Simon Morley to help. The town’s Asda store donated boxes of tea, coffee, sugar and soup and Lisa managed to get bread from St Christopher’s High School, Accrington.

The trio travelled to Yorkshire on Tuesday and set up their “soup kitchen’’ in a supermarket that had been hit by the floods but escaped major damage. And they were overwhelmed by the response from Hebden Bridge residents.

Simon said: “Many people could not use their kitchens as they had no electricity so they were grateful to us. It was shocking to see the extent of the damage caused. There was raw sewage in the street and a lot of properties have been devastated by water damage. We have also been helping to clear out properties and salvage possessions.’’