Disaster relief

Rotary Clubs Respondng to the Damage from the Yorkshire Floods

Rotary Clubs Respondng to the Damage from the Yorkshire Floods

Whole swathes of South Yorkshire found itself under water in November after torrential rainfall hit the county. Now, at the start of the New Year, Rotary clubs are helping communities to rebuild.

Rotary has been at the heart of clean-up operations in South Yorkshire following the devastating floods which swept the county last November.

More than 1,000 homes were damaged by the unprecedented rainfall, with my families forced to seek refuge elsewhere, as foodbanks reported increased demand with many people unable to work.

In the aftermath of the floods, the clean-up has continued into the New Year, with Rotary clubs in South Yorkshire playing an active part in their communities.

“What has been going on in South Yorkshire shows how Rotary has come together to help those communities affected,” said David Hood, 1220 District Governor.

Doncaster Rotary has been working with the town’s two other Rotary clubs to help the community. Bentley and Fishlake in Doncaster were the worst hit, with homes and businesses destroyed in minutes.

What has been going on in South Yorkshire shows how Rotary has come together to help those communities affected”

Secretary, Adrian Hattrell, said: “The three Doncaster clubs have engaged Stuart Smith to co-ordinate the work on a full-time basis.

“He was recommended to us by David Welch of Rotary District 1200 (Somerset, North Dorset & West Wiltshire), where he performed a similar role following the floods on the Somerset Levels in 2014. Stuart has proved invaluable.

yorkshire floods

The government has provided the same level of support to communities affected by the November 2019 floods as it did for those affected by the 2015 floods when 17,000 homes and 4,000 businesses were affected.


Adrian explained that in the lead up to Christmas, the Rotarians had:

  • started clearing up in the worst affected areas.
  • erected two 20-feet tall Christmas trees in Bentley and Fishlake.
  • entered negotiations to obtain a 3,000 square foot warehouse for storing donated goods.
  • instructed solicitors to form a charitable incorporated organisation for the three Rotary clubs and other interested parties.
  • investigated funding from South Yorkshire Community Foundation and Rotary in Great Britain & Ireland Disaster Recovery Trust.

Adrian reported that they had received generous donations from Rotary clubs up and down the country which they will be using for the relief of those affected by the flooding.

Over Christmas, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the new funding will help those families and homeowners in South Yorkshire”

The news coincides with a Government announcement that the South Yorkshire Flood Disaster Relief Appeal Fund is to get a £1 million boost.

Over Christmas, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the new funding will help those families and homeowners in South Yorkshire who have been most affected by the flooding and face considerable hardship as a result.

Praising the incredible efforts of charities, volunteers and local communities who have come together to help the area recover, Mr Jenrick confirmed the government will match the funds raised by the South Yorkshire Flood Disaster Relief Appeal Fund up to the value of £1 million.


The announcement builds on support the Government has already provided to help those affected by recent flooding. This includes:

  • Up to £5,000 made available for flood-hit homes and businesses in eligible areas to help make their properties more resilient to future flooding.
  • Community Recovery Grants for local councils to help households recover.
  • Business Recovery Grants for eligible small and medium-sized businesses that have suffered severe impacts from the floods.
  • Activated the emergency Bellwin Scheme, under which local authorities dealing with the flooding could apply to have 100% of their eligible costs – above a threshold – reimbursed by the government.
  • Council Tax and Business Rate Relief for affected homes and businesses.

The government has provided the same level of support to communities affected by the November 2019 floods as it did for those affected by the 2015 floods when 17,000 homes and 4,000 businesses were affected.