A family crisis presented a golden opportunity for a Lutton family to help some of Yorkshire’s flood victims by delivering food from Long Sutton’s Agapecare Foodbank to Bingley.
Philip Oldfield (44) and his family decided to travel to Bradford to help his brother, Mark, after Mark’s mum-in-law suffered a stroke on Christmas Day.
The good Christianity side of it is that we can help each other in times of need.Philip Oldfield
On Boxing Day, Bingley, one of Bradford’s metropolitan boroughs, was among the areas devastated by the worst floods seen there in 70 years – many residents had their homes destroyed and some families were left homeless.
Philip spoke to Father Jonathan Sibley, who asked if he would like to take some food parcels to the victims.
On the following day the Oldfields packed their seven-seater car with crates and boxes from the foodbank and delivered it to Bingley Flood Support Group after first contacting the group’s organiser, Michelle Chapman, who said the donation would be very welcome.
Philip moved to Lutton from Bradford in 2001 and has witnessed previous floods in his native Yorkshire. But this time there were properties under 5ft of water and he said: “I have never seen anything like that in my life before.”
There were scores of homes as well as schools and businesses flooded.
Philip, who plays cricket for Long Sutton, also saw cricket grounds and rugby fields under feet of water and says they will be devastated by the silt left behind.
There was good news for the family as Mark’s mum-in-law has been allowed out of hospital and is now recovering at home.
Philip works as a maintenance engineer for the Princes food and drink group at Long Sutton was joined on the trip by his wife, Claire, and their son Daniel (17) and daughter Sophie (15) who helped load and unload the car with food.
He said: “The good Christianity side of it is that we can help each other in times of need.”
Bingley Flood Support Group has a Facebook page and Michelle Chapman is appealing for funds to help people “whose lives have been turned upside down”.
She says: “The money will help people to get their lives back in order and in many cases return to their homes. A committee will be set up to manage the funds and direct it to those that need it most.”