Flood story: Alison Waring
BBC Radio Sheffield’s Andy Kershaw launched the Good Neighbour appeal in June 2007 when the floods struck SY. One year on Andy re-visits Toll Bar, taking a look at the effect the floods had on the people who live there.
Alison Waring lived on Askern Road - the main road which runs through Toll Bar - in June 2007. She lived with her two sons and daughter. We chat to Alison about the affect the floods had on her family - for better and for worse.
“We watched the flood waters out of the window of our house, the water rose from both ends of the road and it just struck us. We moved some things up stairs but most of the stuff we wanted to keep we couldn’t get up the stairs. We didn't have house contents insurance either.
“My 17-year-old daughter was trying to scoop the water out as it came through the front door and it was hopeless. We were laughing about it when it was happening.
How did you feel?
“I tried to kill myself at one point - that is how bad it got. I just felt at a loss about what to do next. I thought, if I couldn’t get the help that we needed, then I thought my kids could do it without me. I thought they would just be better off without me.
“Fortunately now I’m in the right frame of mind but I wasn’t then.
Contents of peoples houses in Toll Bar
“At the time I was so low. I tried to jump off North Bridge and I was arrested. I can talk about it now but at the time I couldn’t talk about it.
“If people do get that low, I want people to know – don’t do it because there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
BBC Radio Sheffield’s Good Neighbour scheme helped many of the communities who were affected by the floods, and it was just one of the places Alison turned to for help.
“The Salvation Army were fantastic. They gave me an oven, carpets for my house and a tumble dryer. They made sure they were there for me so I could talk to them.
“It was just a relief to know that I could cook in my house and I didn’t have to worry where I was going to the get the equipment.”
Alison has lived on Toll Bar's caravan estate since August 2007 along with many other people who were affected by the floods. During the second week of June 2008, Alison has moved back into her old house on Askern Road with her children.
“The caravans turned our lives into little communities. We make the best of what we’ve got. I used to be on nodding terms with people when I walked past people in the street. Now when we are in the laundry room (on the caravan estate) it’s totally different. It has had a really positive effect on us, it has boosted community spirit and we’re a lot closer and friendlier with each other.
“I was doing a BA Hons in Art, Design and Multi Media last year and lost most of the work in the flood. Hull University and Doncaster College have let me repeat the year. I handed in my work two days ago. At least I will now get my degree that I worked so hard far.”
As Andy talks to her, he notices the cleaning products which are around the house.
“I don’t want to leave it mucky. I don’t want people to think I’m mucky, especially after the floods. It smelt mucky and disgusting so I’m still going round the house trying to get rid of that smell.
“I’m back on track now.”
last updated: 16/06/2008 at 14:50