Three soggy snowmen bobbing about in the muddy water when the floods hit Sowerby Bridge had Linda Mitchell in near tears.
Her beloved Allan House annex was amongst the worst hit in the town and the sight of those little snowmen broke her heart. (See attachment for flood water pic)
But it also made her her determined to put it right and our very own "Wonderwoman in Wellies" went all-out into action. Amazingly, with help from friends, colleagues and volunteers they managed to get our services relocated and up and running for patients and colleagues in two days flat!
Earlier, it had been a traditional Boxing Day, she was having a nice, lazy day in front of the telly like millions of others - when a photo of the devastation in the town centre pinged into her mobile.
Administrator Linda recalls: " That photo changed everything for me. Everyone knew there was flooding but no-one realised the waters were that high. I just thought about our annex!"
Once inside and the extent of the damage revealed, she was gutted. She adds: "It was all awful, just really upsetting! But for some reason the sight of the Christmas tree and the three little snowmen bobbing around in the water was what really got to me."
She had a key to the main Allan House and eventually got in through the fire escape. From then on, she gathered a team of colleagues and local residents and volunteers to get stuck in and clear the annex and the car park. Some street cleaners were nearby working on Station Road GP surgery and she begged them to come over and join in.
Thanks to Linda and the team - pictured - our services ( including podiatry, audiology, warfarin clinics, leg ulcer clinics, Doppler clinics and Parkinson clinics) were up and running in new locations on Tuesday, December 29 by which time the Communication team had already received nomination for Linda as a Star Award from three different members of staff.
Linda said: " That day the town lost a GPs' surgery, the police station, a health centre and two pharmacies and the floods had a huge impact on the local community round here. It's thanks to the kindness of everyone around the days after Boxing Day that we are where we are".
The annex is now cleared and lying empty and Linda is now waiting for the day our services can move back in there.
Our CEO Owen Williams, presenting her with her certificate and gift vouchers, said: “What Linda and all her colleagues achieved on Boxing Day and the days afterwards - in truly dreadful conditions - was amazing. She was a heroine driven on by thoughts of providing compassionate care for her patients and working together to get results with her colleagues. We should all be very grateful for her tremendous efforts and the fact that even as you read this article she is still working hard to improve the patients experience for the future.”
Here's more about our second Star Award winner......
Staff Nurse, Fran Greenwood, and colleague at Allan House Clinic was the one of the people who sent in the nomination for our Star Awards. She told us: "I nominated Linda for keeping the show on the road in the aftermath of the devastation brought on by the Boxing day flood, ensuring that patients and staff were able to access healthcare services."