Image of flooded house

“The whole of downstairs was completely flooded. It happened so fast, it is frightening really.”

BrightHouse Operations Manager Karl had always referred colleagues in need to the Retail Trust  in the past. Never did he think that the charity would be able to support him and his family financially through an extremely difficult time. 

On Sunday 16 February 2020 as Storm Dennis caused widespread flooding across the country, Karl’s life was turned upside down.

Karl lives in a cottage in a small Welsh village with his wife and two children and manages the BrightHouse LDC in Cardiff. 

At 5.30am that morning, a neighbour knocked on Karl’s door to say that there was water near the porch door. The family put flood defences in place but by 8am the water had seeped inside and was knee deep inside their home. 

image of Karls flooded home

“The whole of downstairs was completely flooded. It happened so fast, it is frightening really. The flooding left us homeless, without our downstairs possessions and unable to return to live in our home.”

The family went to stay with a friend that morning but when they returned to their home later that day, they saw the destruction that had been caused.

“It doesn’t hit you and you expect everything will be fine. As the water subsided, it left devastation everywhere. When we went back to the house, the smell was horrific. The fridge was on its side, the bin had been swept away. All four rooms downstairs were affected including our kitchen and bathroom. Our immediate concern was around our living arrangements and keeping everything as normal for the children.”

Over the next ten days the family stayed separately with relatives and were supported by the local community. A friend had a house up for sale in the same village and kindly let the family move in. This helped the family maintain some normality and enabled the children to go to their usual school.

image of Karls flooded home v2

“People in the village have been wonderful and the offers of support we have received from our friends have been amazing.”

The family home will now take around three months to dry out. Karl will then be able to renovate the downstairs so the family can move back in to their cottage. 

Karl contacted the Retail Trust for a non-repayable grant to support the family over the coming weeks.

“Because I am a manager, I recommend the Retail Trust  to my employees all the time. It surprised me that I would be able to get help too. It humbled me, it was fantastic the support I received. To get the financial help I needed, lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. I am speechless at this grant. Thank you all so much. The pressure this will relieve off myself and my family at this time is incredible.”

Claire Keenaghan, Head of HR Operations at BrightHouse, said:

“BrightHouse has a long standing relationship with the Retail Trust  and we are proud to highlight all of the service provisions. We have promoted their support to our colleagues during that time and know that many have used the counselling and advice services and their feedback has been excellent with positive messages of how the support has proved invaluable during challenging times. Karl, like many of our managers has always been an advocate of the Retail Trust , encouraging his teams to access the support when in need. We all appreciate the support the Retail Trust  has been able to provide to Karl and his family.”       

Click here to find out more about the financial support the Retail Trust offers.