Update on Friday, December 19: Dehumidifiers, cots and bedding, mops and buckets and a skip have been provided via the Uckfield Community Resilience group to help Sam Imber’s family who were flooded out of their home on Wednesday night.
Most urgently needed now is accommodation for the family for the next few weeks. If you know any local landlords that might have a vacant, furnished property suitable for two adults and three small children please contact email@example.com.
One of the trustees of the newly set up charity has thanked people for their generosity.
Tom Crellin says the clean up at Sam’s house starts this morning as well as the search for a place to stay for the next few weeks.
Nearly £250 has been donated on a GoGetFunding page set up to help cover costs faced by the family which might not be covered by insurance.
Sam himself said on Facebook: “Amazing help and support from everyone thank you!”
Our original story on Thursday, December 18: Local hero Sam Imber who spends much of his time helping people in distress was flooded out of his own home last night.
Sam posted a video showing water sloshing around his feet as he moved through the ground floor of the house that he and his young family moved into only last week.
He and his partner Natasha Wall and their three children, three-week-old baby Bailey, Preston, one, and Lilly-May, four, spent last night in an hotel suite at Buxted Park thanks to a quick response from Sam’s father Steve Imber.
Sam estimates there was £10,000 worth of damage but said he was thankful there had been no life-threatening issues.
There was no power, more than £2,000 of Christmas presents were waterlogged. Most of the couple’s savings went on the house and everything had to be A* rated to meet ‘green’ credentials required. All new appliances were lost.
Kitchen units, furniture, and flooring downstairs all need replacing following the flood which was caused by a burst water pipe in the kitchen. The fire service was called to help pump out the water.
“We need a whole new kitchen if anyone knows DIY SOS,” joked Sam.
He was hoping a 24-hour-old insurance policy would help but wasn’t sure.
Sam’s partner Natasha said on Facebook: “Just heart-breaking. All the effort we put into the house to get it sorted for Christmas. We been non-stop, now gotta do it all again. We will get there but a massive thank you to everyone who has helped us and all the lovely messages.”
The response to the couple’s plight via Facebook reflected the way Sam is quick to help out when others are in trouble.
One friend said: “Sam let me know if you need anything, especially for the kids as you helped me out at Fernley. Hope it gets sorted soon.”
The Uckfield family who lost their home in a fire after it was struck by lightning earlier this year said: “Please contact me. Me and husband are more than willing to help you and your family out. I know what it feels like to have lost everything.”
A relation of theirs said: “I am more than happy to buy some Christmas presents for your children. You did a kind turn for my family when they needed help, so I would like to do the same for yours.”
A fund-raising page has been set up at gogetfunding.com under the name Sam and Tasha Flood Appeal.
Uckfield Community Resilience Facebook page has set up a bank account for donations towards the cost of replacing the family’s belongings. It is HSBC sort code 40-45-32, account number 31138952.
Any funds not used by the Imber family will be donated to Uckfield Community Resilience which is a new charity currently applying for registration with the Charities Commission.
The video can be seen here.
Sam was invited to 10 Downing Street in April to be thanked by the Prime Minister for the way he helped other during floods earlier this year. Read more here: Uckfield’s flood hero arrives at Downing Street
There’s more about the work he did to earn that thanks here: Uckfield’s ‘superman’ in action again.
Sam helps people closer to home too. See: Local heroes help people battle floods