MANY neighbours say "we don't know what we would have done without you" when describing the comfort, hot soup and practical help freely given by St George's Church, Kendal, after the floods.

Three Gazette readers have paid tribute to the team of volunteers and the Rev Jean Radley, assistant priest at the Castle Street place of worship, which was itself hit by flooding.


"The church and all those who dedicated hours and hours to the community provided a massive crutch for so many of us living on Castle Street, Castle Crescent, Ann Street, Sandylands and all over Kendal, both immediately after the floods and still ongoing today," Heidi Manion told the Gazette.

"So during those really difficult days and weeks between the floods and moving into temporary accommodation when, for example, you just wanted a cup of tea in a cup that felt clean; or you needed somewhere to defrost your hands because there was no heating at home; to get away from the horrid swampy smell of the house; somewhere that felt safe to take the kids to after school, or to meet up with other flood victims and share advice and experiences; somewhere to get warm soup as there was nowhere clean to prepare food; or after a day of pulling up carpets or sifting through belongings trying to salvage things, somewhere to go and talk to someone about something other than the floods - this was what they did for me and my family."

Two of the St George's team also nominated Ms Radley.

Jean Gibson described her energy and enthusiasm as "an inspiration to us all" while Linda Reynolds said she had "sparked in us something we didn’t know we had, that was the need to help others".

Ms Radley thanked other local churches and businesses for their generous help, and said 30 to 40 people are still visiting the church drop-ins each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11.30am to 2.30pm.

"At the end of our services every Sunday for the last few years we've prayed for the Kendal community," said the assistant priest, "so now we feel we are privileged to be a blessing to the community."

* Keep your Flood Heroes nominations coming in - email