A Grantham company has come to the aid of victims of the floods in Cumbria by donating £45,000 worth of new furniture.
The Quality Furniture Company, based at Alma Park, made its first donation this week, taking 11 armchairs and 54 sofas to Penrith to help those whose possessions have been destroyed by the flood waters. Many people have lost all of their property, including furniture, left damaged when water entered their homes, flooding ground floors and basements.
The company’s donation was the idea of compliance manager Gareth Mayhew, who wanted to do something after seeing a news item on the floods on television.
Mr Mayhew said: “It was an easy decision. It ties in with our goals of helping people in the wider community. We went to the area on Tuesday. We went to Keswick and you could see the sandbags everywhere. Clearly people were still very nervous about the situation.
“It was a humbling experience, but amazing to see the volunteers and charities working there. They were very grateful to us and so pleased we were doing something.
“It was a big team effort from QFC. It makes you so proud, knowing you have done something to make a difference.”
The first person to benefit from the new sofas and chairs was Rachael Davies, from Cockermouth. Rachael had a three-bedroom, ground floor flat in the town, which was flooded by four feet of water. She has been living in temporary hotel accommodation with her two daughters since December 6.
Ms Davies said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has been so pro-active in getting us back on our feet.
“Special thanks must go to Eden Flood Volunteers who have been a massive help, not only providing large items like sofas and the cooker, but also things I forgot I would need, like washing up bowls, drainers, pans and tin openers. What they have set up is like an emporium of products that any family would need to help set up home again.
“Having an autistic daughter has made getting rehomed and settled very important to us.”
Head of marketing at QFC Rachel Chadwick said the company has been working with the Eden Flood Volunteers in Cumbria. The QFC donation is the largest the volunteers have received so far.
Rachel said: “We are pleased to offer our support for the Eden Flood Volunteers and hope that the new sofas we have delivered to Cumbria will make life a little more comfortable for those households affected by the recent flooding.”
QFC has been working with their suppliers to make the donations possible. These include Carpenter and United Fillings, which have donated foam and fibre, and Flameproofings, which has provided fabric. UPS provided free transport from Grantham to Penrith.
Kerryanne Wilde, Eden Flood Volunteers coordinator, said they were very grateful to QFC for its donation.
She said: “It has been very motivating to work with Rachel and the QFC team. They came up to see what we are doing and have really got behind what we want to achieve in the longer term.
“As well as donating the sofas and chairs, they are helping us get the message out to large retailers and furniture manufacturers that may also be able to support flood victims, many of whom have not been able to afford insurance premiums and have limited budgets to refurbish their homes. Their generosity has inspired our team, who have been on the ground helping Cumbrian flood victims since day one.”
She added: “We spotted a post from Rachael and offered our help.
“She is the first to receive a new sofa and we have also been able to supply her with a cooker, food, cleaning equipment and a wide range of household essentials, including pots, pans and utensils.”
The Eden Flood Volunteers are keen to hear from manufacturers and retailers regarding further donations of furniture, including beds, wardrobes, drawers, tables, lamps and kitchen equipment.
Anybody who is able to help is asked to call the team on 01768 593190, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Facebook page