THREE months after Storm Desmond and its aftermath brought misery to Cumbrian towns and villages, The Westmorland Gazette is inviting readers to nominate their Flood Heroes.

We want to publicly recognise those unsung people whose kindness and neighbourhood spirit have helped our community through some of its darkest days and nights, and are still doing so on the long road to recovery.

From quick-thinking neighbours to the courage of the emergency services; from generous tradespeople and companies to churches and charities that offered emergency shelter, hot soup and comfort - we hope to share your stories with Gazette readers in the coming weeks.

"The community spirit of the people of Kendal has really shone through during the initial flooding crisis and also the recovery period that followed," said Cllr Chris Hogg, mayor of Kendal. "It's impossible to thank everyone, but the idea of highlighting some of the amazing work done by individuals is an excellent one."


Thousands of residents and business people were forced to evacuate their properties last December as Storm Desmond's record rainfall and almost-100mph winds battered the county, causing serious flooding in Kendal, Grasmere, Burneside, Appleby, Glenridding and elsewhere, as well as sweeping away bridges and blocking the A591 at Thirlmere.

Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, told the Gazette: "The true spirit of the people shone through as people who had lost almost everything did what they could to help their neighbours who had lost everything.

"This initiative is a way of thanking the many people who went above and beyond the call of duty during the floods.”

The Rev Rob Saner-Haigh, vicar of Kendal Parish Church, said: "The response to the recent floods has shown that community, kindness and neighbourliness are alive and well here. Thank you to all the people who have given so much time and care to help others, and are continuing to do so for the long haul."

The Rev Jonny Gios, community worker at Sandylands Methodist Church, Kendal, told the Gazette that the post-flood recovery was "a marathon and not a sprint".

"We have to realise that this is a long road and there are still more miles left to travel yet until everyone is back," he said.

"There are individuals in Kendal who have gone above and beyond as they have responded compassionately to those in need. I wholeheartedly applaud them and publicly want to say, you are simply amazing."

To nominate your Flood Hero, please send your story (maximum 400 words) to Gazette reporter Rachel Kitchen, email, or by post to 1 Wainwright's Yard, Kendal LA9 4DP, enclosing your Flood Hero's name and your reasons for nominating them, along with your own name and contact details.