Workers from east Dorset thanked by PM for flood help

Salisbury Journal: Housing support officer Hannah Slade and Moors Valley senior ranger Matt Reeks meet Prime Minister David Cameron, who thanked them for their work in tackling flooding in East Dorset Housing support officer Hannah Slade and Moors Valley senior ranger Matt Reeks meet Prime Minister David Cameron, who thanked them for their work in tackling flooding in East Dorset

TWO representatives of officers from Christchurch and East Dorset Councils who were involved in emergency operations during the storms at Christmas and in February met the PM in Downing Street.

Housing support officer Hannah Slade and Matt Reeks, senior ranger at Moors Valley Country Park, met Prime Minister David Cameron, who thanked them for their work.

Hannah Slade was called to the Barrington Centre in Ferndown on Christmas Eve to help the residents of Gladelands Caravan Park, who had been evacuated due to flooding.

Along with other members of the Housing Team she set up an advice centre and was able to find emergency accommodation for the residents. On Christmas Day, while trying to cook lunch for 12 family members, she was dealing with welfare calls for the residents, including finding accommodation for some who had not been around on Christmas Eve and arranging for one to go to a care home.

Matt's main role was as part of a team sourcing, filling and delivering sandbags on February 14 and 15. He got 12 tonnes of sand to fill sandbags in 24 hours. On Valentine's night he was out delivering sandbags in Christchurch until about midnight while his wife waited at home keeping his Valentine's dinner warm. He was down in Christchurch again the next day at 7.30am delivering more sandbags to properties at risk.

David McIntosh, chief executive of the Christchurch and East Dorset Partnership, said: “It's very good that the contributions of our staff during the emergency situations have been recognised by the Prime Minister.

“Hannah and Matt went to Downing Street as representatives of all the council workers who went out of their way to help our residents who were affected by the storms. I'm very proud that so many of them gave up so much of their own time, especially at Christmas.”

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