Working together to help flood-affected residents

Work with the voluntary (or third) sector has been an essential part of the effort towards recovering from November's floods in the county.

Teams from across the council have worked with a range of agencies, from larger organisations such as the Red Cross and Age Concern, to local organisations including the Rotary Club and Lions to help residents get back on their feet.

Working in partnership with the third sector is an essential part of delivering high quality services which meet the particular needs of communities across Cumbria.

Age Concern, for example has been vital in helping older residents in the aftermath of the floods by working the county council's Adult Social Care services.

Mary Smith (not her real name) is a resident of Cockermouth whose home was flooded. Although Mary was very stoic and philosophical about the situation she found herself in, she was also understandably anxious about what the future held, as she was one of only two remaining residents in her sheltered housing complex which was already scheduled for demolition.

Mary was referred to Age Concern who were able to assess her needs on the same day. The Assessor then contacted the local housing association on her behalf, exploring a number of temporary accommodation options.

The Age Concern Assessor has worked to find a flat, still located in her community, for which Mary should soon be formally offered tenancy.  At this point the assessor will also help her make arrangements to help Mary settle into her new home.  Age Concern have also ensured that Mary's new accommodation is suitable for her, and have helped her apply for grants to replace her damaged belongings.

Age Concern will continue assisting Miss Smith until she is settled property in her home and wider community and will alert the county council or other relevant organisations if she needs more support.

For more information on how the county council's Adult Social Care department is working in partnership with the third sector, contact Cheryl Page, Manager for Transition into Social Care on 01900 706926 or