UK Floods – “Carlisle” Colette McQueen

Floods HQ Milton Hilltop December 2015

Where to start…well I best begin at the beginning. I guess it all started for me when there was a call to arms from Richard Francis to help at the Milton Hilltop Carlisle on Monday 21st Dec little did I know I was about to start a journey of epic proportions from here on in…


Day 1…I had only just arrive took my coat off and donned a Santa hat to get in the festive spirit when I was called into action for the photoshoot for Asda. Their Community Champion Niki Iveson had arrived earlier that day with a massive donation from Asda of food both fresh and tinned, with toiletries, nappies, Kitchenware, condiments, slippers, underwear and dressing gowns for all ages. We were eagerly packing hampers for those affected by the floods when the photographer arrived.

We really got stuck into sorting and boxing as much as we possibly could and I knew leaving that first day I was making friends for life with some of the volunteers.


Day 2 22nd Dec 2015

It was a natural course of action to go up to the Milton Hilltop after that it was like there was an inner voice guiding me to go there, so again we headed up there, (we as in myself and my 13 year old son Tyler). He really enjoyed the organising and helping the other teenagers move the Christmas trees and sort out the presents for ‘The Big Cumbrian Christmas Day Meal’. Sky news then arrived just as we had taken a delivery of fresh meat and vegetables for Christmas Day hampers for all those who were staying at other properties for their Christmas meals. So there was a hive of activity all day and everyone was in good spirits pulling together to keep the organisation on track.


Day 3 23rd Dec 2015

After returning for day 3 there was a lot more structure and emphasis on getting all the hampers out to where they needed to go we had lots of people turn up with presents for the Christmas Day parties, wrapping of presents and sorting umpteen boxes of free Christmas decorations. I had the great opportunity to work with some of the people who had been flooded and were staying in the hotel. My personal time to provide the skills I have to relax and reduce any stress that they were experiencing.



Day 4 Christmas Eve!

It was a buzz of activity today with the final push to sort the rest of the hampers out and we had the Penrith fire services arrive with presents and we received help from the Muslim youth group from Manchester to box up our hampers and collect presents from Richard Francis’ home to distribute to our HQ. Louise Scott and I busy in Hamper organising at Floods HQ

Day 5 Christmas Day!


The pinnacle of the week was everyone attending the Christmas Meals taking place in Carlisle and all over Cumbria bringing together all who had been affected by the foods and providing meals and presents to all who attended…we went to Aztec soft play Christmas meal and it was a magical atmosphere for children and adults alike and the food was delicious everyone had a thoroughly great day.

Our week leading up to Christmas was a memorable one definitely one to go in a future book I will never forget all the people that worked tirelessly to help it was something that had to be seen to be believed.

Happy New Year everyone!

Colette McQueen
Bespoke Minds – Think Happy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s