HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York, met with Mormon Helping Hands volunteers in York (January 7) as part of a gathering of community workers and emergency service personnel following the serious flooding to hit the historic city in recent weeks.
The Prince praised the efforts of Mormon volunteers and other local groups and underlined the community spirit that was the hallmark of flood relief efforts.
Another member of the Royal Family, HRH The Duchess of Kent, earlier commended the work of flood relief helpers in the centre of York as she met with other Mormon Helping Hands volunteers (January 6).
Caroline Kimberling, a member the Church in York, was instrumental in this Helping Hands effort and arranged for Church facilities to be used for donations of supplies.
Elder Paul Culbert and Sister Ethel Culbert, full-time missionaries for the Church, helped co-ordinate the relief efforts. Elder Culbert said: “Members of the Church group explained to the Duke the scope of the work they had undertaken, including how they had identified needs through a variety of methods, including social media, being out on the street talking to people, word of mouth, and referrals from York City Council. They then explained how they had gone about meeting these needs. The Duke expressed his gratitude to the group for the work they had carried out.”
Also representing the Church and its community partners in the meeting with Prince Andrew were President Bill Kimberling of the York Stake Presidency (regional leadership), Bishop Mark Plumridge (a congregation leader in York), with Stefania Finch, Helen Woodall, and Katie Miller from the local community.
The Church’s emergency response attracted the attention of many neighbourhood friends who put on ‘Helping Hands’ tabards as a show of community support.
President Kent Mayall, regional leader (stake president) for York and the surrounding area, said: “It has been an incredible two weeks. The Mormon Helping Hands effort has been driven by volunteers who are members of the Church and also those not of our faith. We have had hundreds of volunteers assisting with so many projects. From a crisis and disaster the Lord has helped sustain the community through good, kind-hearted people. We have been truly blessed.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building in York was used to store and distribute items for flood victims after hundreds of people had been evacuated from their homes. The centre filled quickly with over 10,000 items of food, toiletries, clothing, and cleaning products.
Hundreds of people in York contributed under a Mormon ‘banner’ with many of them putting on the Helping Hands tabards and going out to the rescue, delivering care packages, cleaning homes, removing damaged belongings, and just helping in any way they could.