Hastings Salvation Army supports community during floods

published on 23 Jan 2023

The Salvation Army in Hastings stepped in to support people across the town after it was hit by floods.

The Salvation Army at St Andrews Square in Hastings threw open its doors to emergency workers responding to the recent floods in the town, offering a warm space for firefighters, council workers and utilities representatives to hold meetings, be fed and to rest. Despite being below the water line, the church and charity’s hall escaped the floods, and became the focal point of the response operation.

Lieutenant Debbie-Anne Hogarth who leads The Salvation Army in the town said:

‘It was amazing for us to be able to give that support, it’s our community and it was a privilege to serve people that way’

For two days responders from the East Sussex Fire Service, along with N Power, Southern Water, and Hastings Borough Council transformed the Salvation Army building into an emergency response centre. The Salvation Army team provided drinks, snacks and meals and a warm place to rest for everyone involved.

Three separate images in which emergency responders in high visibility uniforms stand and talk together or sit together at tables.
Hastings Citadel Salvation Army becomes a warm space for firefighters, council workers and utilities representatives to hold meetings, be fed and to rest.

Most basement flats near to TSA Hastings Citadel centre were flooded, as well as the local shopping centre. A large number of flats lost power and many possessions were damaged.

Debbie-Anne Hogarth said: “This is not the first time there has been a flood like this, but it’s the first time there has been a flood this bad, it was horrendous.”

With a plan already in place to provide a roast dinner at the church’s Tuesday lunch club, this invite was extended to those who had been working tirelessly across the two days to respond to the flooding.

As well as supporting those responding to the floods, the team at The Salvation Army came to the aid of local residents who were directly affected. They helped one lady who didn’t want to leave her flat despite having lost all power. The team were able to heat up food for her and provide flasks of hot water, as well as sleeping bags and blankets.

The Hastings Citadel Salvation Army church have always been passionate about serving their local community. The church community runs a baby bank, food bank, and a community café, as well as art sessions with local women and meals for homeless people every Saturday and every other Sunday afternoon.

Over Christmas, the team at Hasting Citadel were able to provide 750 food hampers to local residents, over 2,000 toys to children in the area, and hosted Christmas dinner for around 100 individuals in the community.

Supporting the community is at the heart of the vision at Hastings Citadel.

Debbie-Anne said: ‘We want to meet the practical needs in the here and now, as well as the pastoral.’

Image of a man smiling at the camera.

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