A major new project to support Cockermouth residents who are returning to their homes in the aftermath of the floods as been set up.
Street Angels is a project where teams of local volunteers will keep a friendly, watchful eye on fellow residents in their area, and find the best help and support for them if they need it.
It is a collaboration between Allerdale Community Unit in Cockermouth, and Churches Together, a charity which has played a major part in helping the town recover from the floods.
Should a Street Angel find that a particular resident needs help and support they can get in touch with a new Flood Recovery Coordinator who has been appointed by Churches Together, paid for with funding from the Cumbria Community Foundation. The coordinator can help locate the necessary support services, whether it’s from charities and voluntary organisations such as Age Concern or The Red Cross, moving up to statutory organisations like the council or NHS if necessary.
There are currently around 25 Street Angels already volunteering in the town. They visit homes in their area in the day and early evening at least once per week, and more if necessary, and are easily spotted by their high visibility tabards.
The County Council’s Allerdale Community Unit staff based in Cockermouth have heavily supported the development of the project, which is thought to be amongst the first of its kind in the aftermath of a flood event. The team has helped Churches Together from the initial concept through to getting the scheme up and running and are helping the Flood Coordinator identify the best local support services for residents.
Sally Scales, the Cockermouth-based Flood Recovery Coordinator in the Allerdale Area Support Team, says: “The Street Angels are another means of identifying problems some people might face when they move back into their homes.
“They can highlight issues that have either not been picked up on or have been overlooked, so people can get the right help and their needs can be addressed by other agencies.
“They will be able to support people, offer a friendly face and make sure that everybody is okay.”