Meet Jack Dilley – the man offering a lifeline to flood victims. He has taken on a key role offering extra support to those hit by the storms of last December and helping them get back in their homes and protect their properties against future disasters.
The floods officer has just started the new role with Carlisle City Council, which itself was ravaged by flooding. Mr Dilley’s post has come about after the council and other organisations identified the need for extra full-time support for affected people in the city.
His role is funded by the Foundations Independent Living Trust charity, which works across the country to help vulnerable people remain in their own homes.
He’s tasked with making sure that the hundreds of people who still aren’t back in their homes following December’s floods get back in as soon as possible and he’s there to help residents iron out any problems.
“I can’t promise to help everyone but what I will promise is to try to help people as much as I can, there’s no turn away,” he told .
But Mr Dilley’s key purpose is to encourage householders to take advantage of the raft of grants available to help them make their homes more resilient against future flooding.
Grants of up to £5,000 are there to take advantage of – and they can pay for things like flood doors, flood barriers, automatic airbrick closures, non-return valves, pumps, raising electrics and concrete floors.
Should the city be struck by flooding again, measures like those are designed to either help keep water out of properties or speed up the recovery process.
Only 35 per cent of people who are eligible have applied for the flood resilience grants meaning hundreds more families are missing out on financial support to help protect their homes.
“We need to get the message out there that there is help,” Mr Dilley added.
“I think one thing why people haven’t applied is because they don’t know about it.
“There’s also a lot of proud people out there who might think they don’t need help.
“But the grants can also help retrospectively as well.”
The officer is urging people to take advantage of the money on offer or to flag up the opportunities with friends or relatives that have been affected.
Mr Dilley, the city council and other organisations have joined forces to offer as much support as possible to flood victims and help is always at hand, such as at a new centre in Spencer Street in the city centre.
“We have a team of people that can help fill out forms, arrange surveys and get quotes so it makes the whole thing easier,” he continued.
“In the past couple of weeks an elderly lady who was living in a bedroom upstairs with a hot plate and washing her dishes in the bath came to us for help and we’ve been able to do that.”
He is also in the process of planning a flood awareness open day at Greystone Community Centre on October 25, between 2pm and 6pm.
There’s also a host of additional grants available to support vulnerable residents in Carlisle that Mr Dilley can help with, such as:
* Health through warmth crisis grant. This can help towards costs of new heating and energy efficiency measures for people who have a cold-related illness;
* Health through warmth rapid care funding, which helps homeowners who are without heating or hot water;
* Gas safety grants can supply up to £500 to help make sure things such as gas boilers and cookers are in working order.
* Minor works grants involve up to £5,000 for pensioners for essential works to properties to improve the health and wellbeing of the occupant.
Mr Dilley can be contacted by calling 01228 817301 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally posted on the Cumberland News website