Prime Minister David Cameron has backed an Eastern Daily Press appeal launched to help flood-stricken communities across Norfolk and North Suffolk and praised the vital role played by regional newspapers in such crisis situations.
In an exclusive interview with EDP editor Nigel Pickover in Wells (pictured above), Mr Cameron said: “I think it’s great that the EDP has launched this appeal and I fully back it. “This is a really great example of our regional newspapers standing up for local communities on a very practical level, by looking at what needs to be done to help people now. It shows the power of newspapers to do good work, on a social level, and I will be keeping an eye on the situation.”
Mr Cameron spoke to Nigel while visited the North Norfolk town of Wells, badly hit by the floods, making time before he flies off to South Africa later for the funeral of Nelson Mandela.
The Archant Norfolk newspaper has kick-started its own appeal with a £1,000 donation, and is challenging its readers to respond to the rallying cry.
EDP editor Nigel Pickover said: “The need on our coast is critical, and it is essential that emergency help reaches these stricken communities as soon as possible.
“There are many people who have suffered terrible loss, including some who have lost everything and, in some cases, who have no insurance.
“It is heartbreaking, and we cannot stand by and watch. That is why we have launched the EDP Norfolk Flood Appeal, and urge everybody to dig deep to help out their neighbours at their time of greatest need.
“We will kick-start the fund by donating £1,000, and will be working with all of the relevant agencies to bring help where and when it is needed most.”
Norman Lamb, North Norfolk MP, walked through the ruined streets of the coastal community on Sunday to meet businesses and residents who are now having to piece their community back together.
Mr Lamb praised the EDP’s campaign and pledged £100 to help kickstart the fundraising.
Speaking inside the home of Jane Knapp, who’s beachfront home was wrecked by the storm surge, he said: “My appeal is to anyone just to put themselves in the shoes of these people, to realise how horrific a prospect it is now.
“They need help at the moment and I think if we could all club together we could make some difference for them.”
Cheques should be made out to The EDP Norfolk Flood Appeal, and can be sent or handed in to Prospect House in Norwich, or any of the district offices.
© Archant Ltd 2013