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'Timely action for a shattered community'

An evaluation of the Swaledale & Wensleydale Flood Recovery Fund 2019-2021

July 2021

Ben Cairns, Chris Mills


On Tuesday 30th July 2019, heavy rainfall in the North Yorkshire Dales resulted in widespread flooding across Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale. The flooding caused extensive property damage and adversely affected the lives of people across the local area.

In response to the disaster, the Two Ridings Community Foundation (Two Ridings) established a Flood Recovery Fund, which provided grants to community members affected by the flooding. Working with a Grants Panel made up of local people, Two Ridings awarded grants totalling £490,620. These grants were spread across three phases, each with a distinct objective.

As the second anniversary of the flooding approaches, it is an appropriate time to reflect on what happened and how the Fund helped the community. Two Ridings commissioned the Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR) to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of the Swaledale & Wensleydale Flood Recovery Fund (‘the Fund’). 

We expect that this report’s findings will generate learning for Two Ridings but they should also have broader applicability. At the end, we therefore make recommendations which are designed to enhance the ability of all community foundations to respond effectively to local disasters.



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