Volunteers come together to restore Belper Meadows Community Sports Club

Belper Flooding 2019
Dozens of volunteers aged between 7-70 came together at the weekend to help Belper HC recover from heavy flooding that left their facilities under several inches of water.

Based in an idyllic setting close to the river Derwent on the edge of the Peak District and with the rolling foothills of the Pennines in the background, on a sunny summers day it is a very magical place.

However, their position brings with it a major potential risk  - that of flooding.

Training took place as normal for juniors and seniors on Thursday 7 November but by the following morning, the Derwent had burst its banks without warning, with water rising 1.5m above the flood plain.

As a result Belper's sporting surfaces found themselves completely covered, including the water-based pitch and the floor of their new pavilion (completed in 2017) too as it had only been built to withstand a 1m water rise.

By Sunday morning the water had somewhat subsided but now the pitches were left covered in slime, leading to the club to call out for help in removing the mess.

On the evening of Thursday 7th November 2019, junior and senior hockey training took place - very much as normal - on the normally damp water-based  pitch.

As is always the case with these community-based clubs, the response was magnificent.

Dozens of willing volunteers spanning several generations gave up their Sunday to bring shovels, brooms and wheel-barrows, putting in countless hours to remove tonnes of mud in order to find a hint of green 'carpet', not to mention paths and the car park.

Belper Flooding mess 2019
   
Another team attacked the inside of the pavilion, with repeated cleaning of floors, scrubbing of toilets, drying out of furniture.

The rain returned that evening, washing the remaining mud into the turf (meaning it will need to be vacuum cleaned) before volunteers came back on Monday to continue the clear-up operation.

Once again, when there has been a crisis, the Hockey Family have pulled together and achieved mammoth goals.

Belper would like to share their thanks with the 'Belper Hockey Army' for their fantastic commitment to the cause. They are working hard to get back to some sort of normal operation as soon as possible and have the facilities functioning as they should be for the whole community. They are hoping to enable matches to be played this coming weekend.

Whilst the club members have been fantastic at clearing what they can, there has been some serious damage that will require professional attention to get back up and running properly. This includes industrial cleaning of the pitch, getting the pitch watering system fixed, repairing the electrics to the lift in the clubhouse and buying/fixing equipment that was damaged (goals etc.).

Help Belper raise funds to fix the damage by donating here.