Otley flood volunteers honoured at Downing Street

Otley flood volunteers honoured at Downing Street

Published at 8:02am 28th March 2016. (Updated at 11:41am 29th March 2016)

Four volunteers from Otley have represented the town at a special 'flood heroes' reception hosted by the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street.

Mel Metcalfe, Niki Taylor, Tom Featherstone and Paul Allan all attended with Otley's MP, Greg Mulholland.

On Boxing Day, the River Wharfe rose to over two metres - triple its usual height - and nearby homes were flooded.

Niki Taylor set up a flood appeal, which has raised nearly £6,000 online.

The reception was also attended by other MPs, volunteers representing their communities, Army officers, Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Floods Minister Rory Stewart.

Mr Mulholland said: "I was delighted to welcome Mel, Niki, Tom and Paul to Westminster and pleased that they were able to represent all those who helped with the community response to the Boxing Day flooding in Otley. People across Otley and our local emergency services deserve to be celebrated for the way they responded to the floods.

"The reception was an opportunity to celebrate 'flood heroes' in regions across England that were hit by the floods, and we certainly have plenty of heroes in Otley! All four had significant roles in the response to the Otley floods, both at the time and since then. They were representing all the wonderful volunteers who came out to help and have continued to assist since the flooding."

Mel Metcalfe added: "I was honoured to be invited down to represent the whole of the Otley community that helped respond after the Boxing Day floods."

Tom Featherstone said: "It was great to come down to London and it was very good that everyone who helped out after the floods was recognised by the Prime Minister."

Paul Allan, of Otley Flood Group, said: "It was an honour to be at 10 Downing Street and gain recognition for the Otley Flood Group. It was also a great opportunity to meet Environment Secretary Liz Truss, other managers from the Environment Agency and discuss how we can respond better in future."

Niki Taylor said: "I was honoured to be at 10 Downing Street on behalf of the community. I set up the flood appeal to help those who needed assistance after the Boxing Day floods. The appeal is still running, we’re still looking for donations and there's a lot of work that's still to be done."