£30k appeal to rescue ‘community asset’ hit by sewage flood and Covid

A south Shropshire community group has targeted £30,000 of funding to keep going after a devastating sewage flood was followed by the lockdown.

Shropshire councillor Tracey Huffer and manager Nikki Hook at Loudwater
Shropshire councillor Tracey Huffer and manager Nikki Hook at Loudwater

Loudwater Community Arts in Ludlow was hit in 2019 when a flash flood overwhelmed local drains forcing foul water back up through the toilets and overflowing into the building.

"We were closed until January 2020, just in time for the lockdown in March," said Nikki Hook, the business development manager. "The board of the charity is being very supportive but they are not going to sustain us if it continues to haemorrhage money."

The studio was rebuilt and re-shaped following the flood to create what is there now, and activities have been slowly returning.

But activities at the centre on Burway Trading Estate, in Bromfield Road, are well short of normal and they need to be upped to regain lost momentum.

Two posts at the open access community arts studio, which is a part of the charity the Vision Homes Association, have already been made redundant.

And Nikki says they have suffered the equivalent of a "four year step back in time." Vision Homes Association

A crowdfunding campaign has been started and they hope that the community will once again rally round.

"After the flood the community was brilliant and helped to keep it going," said Nikki, who praised the help of Shropshire councillor Tracey Huffer.

The crowdfunding page adds: "The people of Ludlow have told us we are a great community asset that should not be lost, but we need your support to help that happen whilst we get on with the important business of using creativity for good and bringing positivity to people’s lives."

Nikki said that while the Vision Homes Association was set up to provide specialist support for adults who have visual impairment and disabilities, injuries and challenging behaviour, the resource is for the whole community.

There are group activities, such as community sewing and social crafting groups, with space available for people from across the region to use as a meeting space.

Nikki is also keen on hearing from anyone who can help with their fundraising efforts. You should call her on 01584 877272.

The crowd funding page i sat www.crowdfunder.co.uk/sustaining-loudwater and Loudwater Community Arts is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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