REMAINING cash leftover in the Stonehaven Flood Relief Fund is being put to good use.
Now that all claims and expenses have been settled and repair work has been completed, the Fund can cease to exist and the remaining funds can be distributed locally, as determined by the administrators of the fund.
A document has been prepared by the Scottish Flood Forum, entitled, “Ready for Flooding, before during and after”. This has been adapted to be made specific for Stonehaven and copies will be distributed to those in the affected area. Additional copies will be held in the Town Hall and the Library as well as with the emergency and support services. 650 copies have been purchased, at a total cost of £1350.
The remaining monies will be used to purchase protection equipment such as flood gates. These will be used in accordance with the Community Flood Resilience Plan and be held at a central location, for issue by the Flood Wardens, in the event of flooding being anticipated.
On the evening of November 1 2009, as a result of severe localised rainfall, the River Carron overflowed and a large area of the Stonehaven Town Centre as well as parts of the Old Town were subjected to severe flooding. The emergency services, including the Maritime Rescue Institute, responded immediately and moved people from their homes to a place of safety. The Town Hall and the Royal Hotel were opened to act as refuges and, in addition to the local council, many local organisations, including the Rotary Club, the Lions Club and the South Aberdeenshire Tenants and Residents Association (SATRA), became involved, offering help and support to those affected. On the morning after the flood St. Bridget’s hall opened up as a place for folk to come and get food and support. St. Bridget’s remained open for the rest of the week and then the following week food and support was offered at St. James’ Church hall. These were all provided free of charge and organised and staffed by people from all the local churches. A great many people made use of these facilities.
Once it became clear that there had been no personal injuries, the work of clearing up and restoration was begun and the Stonehaven Flood Support Group was set up. It was led by Aberdeenshire Council In partnership with the Scottish Flood Forum, who took the lead in establishing a flood recovery programme and a drop-in centre, ably supported by members of the local Lions, Rotary, Faith Communities, SATRA and the Maritime Rescue Institute (MRI). The centre provided essential support to the local community for 14 months following the floods and included members of the local Lions, Rotary, SATRA and the Maritime Rescue Institute (MRI). They were joined by a representative of the Scottish Flood Forum and initially meetings were held in the MRI building.
As part of the Flood Support Group the Stonehaven and District Lions Club together with the Stonehaven Rotary Club, took on the role of Fund Raising and Distribution of funds and set up the Stonehaven Flood Relief Fund (SFRF).
The total amount raised from the fund was £24768. This was made up of a large donation of £6200 from the Lions Clubs Multiple District Disaster Fund and in addition there were donations of £1400 from individual Lions Clubs and £4330 by individual Rotary Clubs. The Fireballs Association donated £1500 and Aberdeenshire Council £1000. Collection points raised £5100 and £1945 was raised from the sale of surplus goods. A total of £1398 was given as anonymous donations and the remaining £1895 given as a result of separate collections by Stonehaven Chorus, Horizon, Ury Players, Stonehaven Sea Cadets, Stonehaven Recorder Consort, Carron Art Group, Aberdeen & NE Scotland ATC, the Beerfest, Jane’s Private Raffle and Inverurie Inner Wheel. There were also a number of other private donations. There were no administration costs for the Fund as it was administered on a voluntary basis by members of the Rotary, Lions and the local community. The purpose of the Stonehaven Flood Relief Fund (SFRF) was to help with all the costs of drying, repairing and resettling the homes affected. The Fund also offered help to individuals and families in temporary accommodation while their homes were being repaired. It was recognised from the beginning that there would be a considerable amount of administrative work involved within the Flood Support Group and we were fortunate in being able to recruit a volunteer to work, virtually full time in the early stages. The MRI kindly loaned an office and support facilities for 14 months to enable all work to be coordinated from a central location.
The furniture store, located in Cowie Lane, was quickly filled up with goods donated. The Support Group set up a system for individuals to make claims on the SFRF. In total expenses amounted to £4435. Claims on the fund amounted to £7460, thus some £12873 is remaining.