Volunteers who came together to help a Leeds community recover from the devastating Boxing Day flooding have been given a special thank you party.
A celebration of all the hard work done to clean up Kirkstall following last December’s deluge was held on Saturday at the Hollybush conservation centre. A riverside clean-up was also held to highlight the importance on ongoing work,
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon (Labour, Kirkstall), who spearheaded much of the volunteer effort, said: “When the floods came, it would have been easy to be despondent. But that melted as soon as it became clear how many people were willing to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.
“This includes people who saw it on the news and were moved to join us and staff from the council who gave up their own time. We wanted to say a great big thank you to all those people, organisations and companies.”
Work on a £45m flood defence project downstream from Leeds railway station is well under way and is due to be finished in May 2017. The Government has also made a commitment to extend comprehensive flood defences upstream from the station in the city centre and along the Kirkstall Road corridor.
Jonathan Moxon, Environment Agency Upper Aire Catchment Director, said: “The positive impact that volunteers and community members created through their dedication and empathy in the days and weeks after the flooding has helped Leeds to take big steps along the road to recovery.
“There is still lots to do and alongside the development of flood defence schemes the Environment Agency and Leeds City Council are working closely with a range of organisations in the affected areas to clean up the rivers, provide training, knowledge and support to ensure these are communities are better protected and more resilient in future as well as creating better places to live and work.”