Derry City and Strabane District Council is continuing to offer its support to those affected by the recent flooding with the two Flood Help Centres at YMCA Drumahoe and the Community Centre in Eglinton remaining open over the weekend from 10am to 2pm.
The two centres have over the past week become a central point for those affected by the floods, with Council providing a signposting service to engage with relevant representatives from various agencies and organisations to get the advice and support they need as they attempt to put their lives back together. The Council offices will also remain open during these times to facilitate requests for assistance relating to the Scheme of Emergency Financial Assistance (SEFA) at 028 71253253.
More than £350,000 of grant aid has been issued to affected residents to date and additional payments will continue to be made next week.
In addition to administering the SEFA Scheme, Council continues to be very proactive in assisting families and businesses clean out their premises by helping with the removal of affected material and the provision of skips. Staff will continue to work over the weekend offering advice and guidance and signposting to other agencies.
The Council is also advising that our cleansing team is providing direct support to businesses. It’s business support team also can advise on a range of supports that are available including possible rates relief through Land and Property Services and advice from the NI Business website at www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk.
DAERA continue to provide support and advice to farmers and those in rural communities with a series of advice clinics across the district details of which are available on their website at www.daera-ni.gov.uk
Mayor, Alderman Maolíosa McHugh praising the efforts of everyone involved in the flood recovery works said the multi-agency collaborative approach was key in helping the communities affected.
“The recent floods have been devastating for our communities across the City and District especially for those in Eglinton, Drumahoe and the rural communities of Plumbridge and Castlederg. The support mechanism that has been put in place has been pivotal in helping these communities get the advice and assistance they need but it’s a long road ahead for many people as they try to get back into their homes and businesses.
“I have been really impressed with the way in which all the agencies have come together to provide that support and help and also by the way the community have come out in force to offer their assistance. The Council has been inundated with requests from non-statutory agencies and volunteers offering their assistance and we are happy to sign-post any of these organisations to charities on the ground who are working to identify people’s needs and provide assistance.”
Counselling and emotional support for those affected is also continuing and the special helpline set up by the Western Trust this week will continue to operate Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5pm – Tel 07903990897. Alternatively anyone who finds them in distress or in need of support is urged to contact Lifeline at 0808 808 8000 or the Samaritans at 028 71 265511.