Safe haven for those forced to flee homes
Evacuees sleep well at centre after draining experience of quake
THE Salvation Army centre provided an overnight refuge for 10 people unable to return to their damaged homes.
On Sunday morning, Captain Peter West returned at 4.45am, having only left at midnight, to see those staying at the centre awake calm, rested and fed.
He said: “We had 10 people stay overnight – one family and a few individuals.
“They had a draining experience and they all said they slept well. Kent County Council provided the bedding. “We also fed 90 people.” Mr West said that the incident caught them unawares, although the centre was open as a matter of course.
He said: “It was not so much a response as something that just happened.”
The volunteers were kept busy away from the centre as well.
“We went to the local fire station on Saturday evening. Their canteen wasn’t designed to serve so many firefighters so we did some mass tea-making.”
The Salvation Army received help itself from none other than Folkestone mayor, Cllr Janet Andrews.
Mr West said: “She was brilliant. She worked with the volunteers, helped peel spuds and chatted with people. I think she was exercising leadership in the right way – from the front.”
One person thankfully not kept busy, was Dover district nurse Heather Northcott.
She said: “We’re here to offer medical advice and any first aid treatment, but we haven’t seen anybody.”
Mr West said: “People have been positive and well behaved.
“They have tried to help each other and have really pulled together.”
Captain Eileen West serves drinks to Jordan Parker, Alice Cookson and Connor Parker Pictures Dave Downey
Residents who were evacuated took shelter in the Salvation Army hall
Marion Rouffel ready with the tea for evacuees in the Salvation Army hall