A SPECIAL fund set up to help victims of horrendous flash floods in the Yorkshire Dales is helping nearly 200 people, paying out more than £120,000 so far of the £260,000 collected for ongoing work supporting devastated communities.

More drop in sessions to offer assistance are being held by the Swaledale and Wensleydale Recovery Fund and Richmondshire Community Voluntary Action over the winter, with another on November 29 at Reeth Memorial Hall.

Coordinator Terry Wolf said organisers hope most people in need of help will have been in touch but they are still not totally sure how many people were affected when a month’s rain fell in four hours in the summer because some households in the area were so remote.

The fund made an initial grant of £300 to 150 householders affected and is in the process of offering additional money with 11 further awards of £1,000-plus to help people in significant hardship.

Fourteen similar awards are in progress with more due to be made in the next few months as people come to terms with the financial impact of the floods.

The fund is also in the process of helping 35 farmers and four small businesses, as well as three parish councils who needed to carry out urgent repair work and beck clearances.

The fund, which was set up by the Two Ridings Community Foundation, is unable to help second home owners.

Terry Wolf said: “It is about people being pushed out of their homes, it is based on hardship and need and trying to make life bearable for people.

“It is a long job, people can be out of their homes for up to a year, possibly longer. It is a terrible thing.

“There are longer term health and mental health issues, it is a very very stressful situation.”

She added: “The community has come together in an absolutely brilliant way to offer support.”

The group has offered advice and support for organisations in South Yorkshire working with the latest victims of floods after major downpours last week causes rovers to burst their banks.

The drop in session at Reeth Memorial Hall is on November 29 from 9.30am to 12.30pm, with support also on offer from the Farming Community Network, Richmondshire District Council and the NFU.

For more information contact the Two Ridings Community Foundation office on 01904-929 500 or email grants@tworidingscf.org.uk.