Tenant who shunned Facebook drinking craze helps flood victims
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities
A social housing tenant who was nominated to take part in a social media drinking craze but decided to do something to benefit others instead has helped to support flood victims in Somerset.
Tanya Kingston decided not to take part in the Facebook drinking fad over safety fears, and chose to complete a random act of kindness instead.
Ms Kingston, who is a tenant of social landlord Yarlington Housing Group, decided to help organise and arrange logistics to support flood victims across areas such as Thorney, Burrowbridge and Muchelney in Somerset, by responding to requests for food, animal feed and clothing on the FLAG (Flooding on the Levels Action Group) Facebook page.
Within days she had secured 20 hi-vis jackets and 17 pairs of waders from YHG, six 25-kilo bags of chicken feed from Duffields, and had set up three collection points.
Ms Kingston said: "The FLAG Facebook page has over 9,000 likes, as people ‘shout-out’ on there with what they require, others in the community respond, working together to help source and provide it. A range of things are needed but particularly hand sanitizer, razors, headache tablets – everyday things really, and cleaning products which will be essential once flood waters subside."
The collection points also accept old clothes and shoes which are able to be exchanged for money that goes towards the Somerset Flood Relief Fund, set up by the Somerset Community Foundation, a local charity that is managing the relief effort.
Justin Sargent, chief executive of the Somerset Community Foundation said: "The community response to the flooding has been absolutely fantastic in terms of volunteering, donations of essential goods and financial support. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of people from across Somerset and the UK we are able to help flood victims who are facing real hardship as a result of the impacts it has caused."
Ms Kingston added: "It’s great to feel as though I can do something to help. I’ve got three children so I haven’t been able to dig or sandbag. The community spirit and support in response to the flooding is incredible. I’ve met some amazing people as a result of this - it’s fantastic seeing people give up their time and transport to help."