The Serendipity Initiative, located at the Priory Hotel in Louth and run by Paul Hugill MBE, was hit by the bad weather on Tuesday night after rain damaged the roof of the centuries-old building, while flood water damaged their cellar, caused all of the power to shut off and meant that guests had to be evacuated.
It has also meant that as the freezers in the cellar containing many items used for the Neighbour’s Kitchen project, which was launched by Paul during the first coronavirus lockdown and provide thousands of meals to vulnerable people in the community, has also been affected.
But Paul has praised the efforts of the Louth community for rallying round to help them repair the damage, and has heaped praised on the Priory team for springing into action when the weather meant the guests had to leave the hotel.
Louth Building Supplies filled around 12 tonnes of sand bags for the the people of Louth, Louth Hospital and Morrisons free of charge
"I was having a rare night off and had gone to the cinema, when halfway through the film I was tapped on the shoulder and told the hotel had flooded,” Paul said.
"But people have been incredible and it’s just proved that we live in such a tight community and have such a proactive group, seeing so many people jumping into action helping to sweep out water and fill sandbags.”
The hotel started taking on water in the cellar in the middle of the night and the team has had to strip the carpets out and empty the freezers to and throw out all of the food inside as they lost all power.
The hotel was able to re-open at 4pm on Wednesday once the worst of the damage had been cleared away, but many of the hotel’s carpets are ruined.
Paul said: “The team did so well making sure all of the guests had somewhere to go and to see them all in action was wonderful. It’s good to see that what we’re trying to achieve here, to help people find their strengths, is working.”
The team has managed to continue with their school holiday free meal scheme despite the loss of their freezer by focusing on fresh produce in their food boxes, and Paul said they’ve even been able to work with local food growers and allotments and include fruit picked from a local allotment.
But they are in urgent need of tinned and frozen food to restock their larder and freezer to replace the food they lost due to the flooding.
All frozen meats, proteins and vegetables would be welcomed, as well as dried food, squash, slices of cheese for sandwiches and cereals would be gratefully received, and these can be dropped off at the Priory Hotel.
To enquire about receiving help from the Serendipity Initiative or Neighbour’s Kitchen, visit http://www.priorylouth.co.uk/ or call 07561 407715.