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Fundraiser launched for flood-hit Coalbrookdale cafe

By Lisa O'Brien | Ironbridge | Business | Published:

An online fundraising page has been launched to raise money to refurbish a cafe in the Ironbridge Gorge which was devastated in the floods.

Dale End Cafe in Coalbrookdale was flooded

Dale End Cafe in Coalbrookdale was flooded twice in the space of 48 hours, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Owner Chris Harrison, who runs the cafe with his wife Sharon Shenton, says everything was destroyed.

Within hours of the flood hitting, the community rallied round to help with the clean-up – and now a fundraising page has been launched to raise £5,000 so it can reopen.

Chris Harrison, co-owner of Dale End Cafe

It has been set up by Julie Ward, of Leegomery, who has been supported by the owners with her own fundraising events.

The 47-year-old, who organised the Let's Go Quackers trail in Ironbridge and Telford in recent years, said: "They are just the most special, genuine and lovely couple I have ever met. The cafe has a huge heart.

"It's like almost being in Chris and Sharon's kitchen. Everyone jumps in the conversation.

"It's always such a happy place.

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"When I found out what had happened I was in floods of tears.

"I know how much the cafe means to them. They make everyone feel welcome.

"I have the greatest sympathy for everyone affected by the floods.

The Dale End cafe flooded

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"I hope this raises awareness for the area as well as raises funds to help reopen the cafe.

"If they do get more money than they need, they have said they will be able to donate it to other people who need help."

The JustGiving page has already raised more than £1,680.

Many messages of support have also been left by donors.

One wrote: "It’s been heartbreaking watching the devastation unfold.

"We’re going to miss our weekly visits for a little while! We can’t wait for you to be back up and running."

Another said: "We live not far away and feel so fortunate that we haven’t been affected by the flooding.

Chris Harrison, co-owner of Dale End Cafe, which was flooded twice

"We are so sorry that you guys have!

"We always enjoy our visits. Good luck with the clean up!"

The cafe was first flooded on Sunday morning when the nearby brook burst its banks.

It was flooded again on Tuesday, when other homes and businesses were evacuated along The Wharfage in Ironbridge due to rising river levels cracking the road surface.

The Ironbridge Gorge was placed under a severe threat, with the River Severn peaking at 6.52m on Tuesday evening.

Visit the fundraising page at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/daleendcafe?utm_term=MZaAvzea4

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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