South Wye jumps to aid of flood victims

February 18, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


South Wye Boxing Academy yesterday (17th February) opened its doors to the people of Hereford and the surrounding areas who have been badly affected by flooding over the past few days.

The region has been hard hit by Storm Dennis, coming to a head yesterday afternoon, with emergency services rescuing people stranded in their homes.

With need to find accommodation while alternative arrangements could be made, South Wye answered the call and rallied several boxers and coaches, who all turned up and opened the club’s doors to the public as a shelter from the advancing waters.

Hereford Fire Service and the local police were thankful to be able to pass over residents in need of refuge throughout the afternoon.

“We had quite a few people in the centre who had been evacuated from their homes, said South Wye’s Vince McNally. “These poor people were cold and wet and in need of food and drink.

“We made a call to our local Asda supermarket, who agreed to supply us with some provisions and myself and our boxer/coach Habibi went over and collected the provisions for us to distribute.”

One elderly couple from the Hinton area had been brought to the centre after being evacuated by small boat from their home.

Once the club has learned of their situation, embers quickly swung into action to ensure they were adequately looked after.

McNally said: “They were both very upset and unsure of what to do or where they would stay for the coming night.

“But by this time we had a fair few boxers helping out at the centre and we decided to have a collection to put Mr and Mrs Williams up for the night in a local hotel.

“I phoned The Green Dragon Hotel and they kindly gave us a discounted rate for a room and so we packed the Williams’ off in a taxi to enjoy at least one night of comfort while other arrangements were made for them.”

Several dignitaries turned up at the club when they heard about the crisis and they were all united in their praise for the South Wye Academy.

“The Mayor and some of the councillors who attended were overwhelmed in the support that the club and its members had offered to the local community and could not thank us all enough,” said McNally.

“I explained that we are a community boxing club which is here for all members of the community.

“In a crisis, we will always put our resources and facilities at the service of our community. I personally want to praise the local emergency services who were wonderful in getting the stranded people to us in the first place.”