Fundraisers rally to help Liverpool paramedic student whose home was devastated by floods
3 years ago
A Liverpool paramedic student whose home was devastated by flooding in Storm Christoph says she’s been amazed by donations of support since.
Third year JMU student Faye Preston’s house was left under more than 18 inches of water, ruining most of her furniture and the laptop she’d been writing her final dissertation on.
The 27-year-old, who has been working on the pandemic frontline with North West Ambulance Service, managed to rescue her pet cat and bearded dragon before flood water engulfed the open-plan ground floor.
Faye and her boyfriend Rob, a mental health nurse, have had to move out for up to six months while the house in Blacon just outside Chester dries out, but now her fellow students have rallied round to help the couple.
A Go Fund Me page started after the destruction has already raised more than £1,000 in just a few days, more than doubling its target.
“It’s really shown me how amazing people are – I knew that anyway about the people on my course but to have not just them but total strangers donate to help us is a really nice heartwarming thing to happen,” she says.
“I posted photos on our course What’s App group after the flood and one of the other students set up the fundraiser. It was a complete surprise, I didn’t think anyone would donate and I honestly didn’t know what to say when I saw how many people had supported it. There were people on there I don’t even know or haven’t met so it was just really kind and quite emotional because we’ve lost so much.”
Faye, who’s studying for a paramedic science degree, says she has never seen flooding like that caused by Storm Christoph which left many parts of the North West badly hit by torrential rain.
“We’ve been in this house for just over two years but I’ve lived in Blacon my whole life and this is the first time there’s been anything like this.
“It started at about 3pm, I was at home by myself because my boyfriend was at work, and I noticed the garden had flooded and it was up to the lip of the patio door frame. I went upstairs to get some towels but by the time I came down the water was already pouring through the sides of the doors.
“The first thing I did was make sure my bearded dragon and my cat were safe and by the time I’d got them both, everything was already completely swamped. The flood water came in so quickly through the front and back, from all directions, and the towels didn’t do anything because the force of the water was just too much.
“By the time it stopped it must have been at least 18 inches deep, I’m 5ft2 and it was up to my thighs. We’re at the bottom of a slope too so all the water gathered in our house and we ended up with everybody’s rubbish as well because it all floated down stream. We had all these empty Stella bottles that weren’t ours!”
Faye says everything downstairs ended up under water. “It was even in trays in the oven, the bottom of the freezer and the washing machine. My laptop was on the floor charging because I’d been using it the night before so that was ruined. Luckily all my assignments are still there because they’ve been submitted already but I’d started my dissertation for my final year and I’ll have to restart that again.”
Faye and Rob returned to their house the day after the flood waters had subsided, but found it in a terrible state.
“On the night of the flood we just took the pets, a change of clothes and left it because it was underwater. When we went back the next afternoon it was muddy everywhere, and it was sewer water so the smell was awful.
“We both just packed clothes and toiletries, the things we needed, and went to our mums’ houses where we’ll stay for the next few months at least. We have buildings insurance but not contents so we’ll just have to replace whatever we can once we get back in.”
Despite the upheaval, Faye was back on shift with North West Ambulance Service on Saturday and she says she hopes to get a job with the team once she completes her course in May.
“I normally do a mix of day and night shifts so I just keep thinking how lucky it was that I was at home when the flood happened because at least I could rescue my pets. That’s the main thing, so I’m massively grateful for that, and to everyone who’s helped us since. It’s not been the best start to the year, but they’ve really made it feel better.”