Storm Dennis: Flood fundraiser launched by Michael Sheen raises £28k in just 24 hours

Sophie Gallagher
Rex Features

A fundraiser launched by Welsh actor Michael Sheen to help flood-hit communities across the UK has raised £28,000 in under 24 hours.

Over 1,000 people have donated to the crowdfund contributing nearly three times the original target of £10,000 in one day.

The Frost/Nixon actor, who grew up in Neath Port Talbot, set up the campaign on Thursday saying the images of people’s homes and businesses flooded by Storm Dennis were “heartbreaking”.

“All across Wales, and South Wales in particular, communities have been hit by Storm Dennis and the flooding it has caused,” he said. “But as upsetting as it is to see these images of devastation caused by the floods, I’m also reminded of why I love this nation so much.”

Sheen says he was inspired by images of people working to help friends and neighbours and “communities coming together and helping one another”.

The 51-year-old encouraged people to donate to support the work of organisations on the ground who are helping restore people’s homes and businesses which have been destroyed by the flooding.

All funds raised will be held centrally in Wales by Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and distributed across the country. Sheen says the worst affected will take priority.

This campaign is to raise money to help the thousands of people who won’t be covered by other specific campaigns and could otherwise fall through the cracks,” he added.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been criticised for failing to visit the affected communities - many of which he visited during the general election campaign - or call an emergency Cobra meeting.

“Nowhere-to-be-seen Boris Johnson is showing his true colours by his absence,” Jeremy Corbyn, the outgoing Labour leader, said.

Britain is also bracing for even more potential devastation as more rain is forecast this weekend; in some places more than a month’s worth of rain could fall in 24 hours.

The Met Office told The Independent that Lancashire and Cumbria may see more rain between Wednesday and Thursday afternoons than they would normally expect in an average February.