#backtobusiness: Shrewsbury pupils urge community to get behind flood-hit businesses

Primary school pupils held a day to shout about their flood-hit neighbourhood, encouraging people to support the businesses that lost income.

From left: Jasper Howson, 8, Lewis Stuart, 6, George Coales, 7, and Flynn Stuart, 6
From left: Jasper Howson, 8, Lewis Stuart, 6, George Coales, 7, and Flynn Stuart, 6

Coleham in Shrewsbury was swamped by flood water in the recent storms, with some businesses having to move their stock or remain closed after floors were damaged.

Coleham Primary School was spared any damage in the flooding, though it was closed for parts of last week while nearby businesses were swamped.

The staff devised a 'Pull Together for Coleham Community' day and yesterday were outside the school encouraging people to back the businesses that had been affected.

Pupils drew artwork and wrote encouraging messages for the neighbourhood's businesses.

Sadie Howson, teacher and leader of the school's eco council, said: "We're just trying to encourage people to support the businesses and really pull together."

Business manager Tracy Othen said: "The school has had a campaign, we have written to all our parents and our staff.

"We have invited them all to come down today and support the community and shop local."

One of those businesses that suffered damage last week was the Belle gift shop, with a water mark visible around the shop from where flood water had got in.

The staff moved much of their stock off the ground but the water came even higher than they expected.

A dehumidifier was still running on Saturday.

Despite the damage, Gloria Smith, who was running the shop on Saturday, was confident of Coleham bouncing back before long.

"There is such a good camaraderie between everybody, everyone helps each other out," she said.

Some of the drawings Coleham Primary School pupils made for businesses in Coleham

"Everyone pulls together, everyone seems to know each other.

"It's such a nice, friendly area."

Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s members recently voted to donate £6,000 to Coleham businesses after the flood water subsided.

Shrewsbury and Atcham MP Daniel Kawczynski was visiting some of the affected businesses alongside former Shrewsbury mayor Judith Williams.

The MP will host a debate on flooding in Westminster next week, and is calling for more government funding to tackle flooding problems in Shropshire.

He said: "Ahead of my debate in the House of Commons I wanted to hear more about the personal experiences of the people who have been affected here.

"Now it's important for everyone to come down and support the businesses here in Coleham."

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