FLOOD ANNIVERSARY: Community in Boston did ‘lots of amazing work’

David Cameron and Mark Whelan
David Cameron and Mark Whelan

In the midst of the chaos of last year’s floods, communities and volunteers came together to organise a response to help others in the town.

They included major businesses such as Asda helping out on the front line to ensure those affected were given help straight away.

One of the most prominent groups to form was ‘Get Boston Back On Its Feet’, originally a Facebook page which was put together by Mark Douglass and Mark Whelan and soon built a close following.

It helped lead to community efforts such as the idea for the Flood Aid concert which took place in July. Prime Minister David Cameron even handed a new volunteer award to Mark Whelan. He who became just the fourth recipient of a Point of Light Award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers.

Mr Whelan, who also runs St George’s Preparatory School in Boston, said: “In the early days, we had lots of people out there, doing lots of amazing work.

“It just went a bit crazy really, we ended up raising more than £30,000 , working and coordinating with lots of other volunteers.”

The group began using the funds it raised to help people get back on their feet, buying those in need white goods and other essentials and giving advice through volunteers and their social media pages.

When the funds began to dry up, Mr Whelan praised some of the volunteers including Julie Hallgate, Tony Elmer and Lisa Baran, who ‘finished everything off’.

He said: “When Julie, Lisa and Tony went out they were met with an enormous amount of people who were very, very grateful, very, very thankful for their assistance.”

He said the group was still active and he believed the members would be ready and prepared for any future disasters should they hit the town.