Ladywood community steps in during the Brecon Tower flood 

On 28th of February, a flood at Brecon Tower in Ladywood forced 128 people out of their homes and into the emergency shelter at the Community Centre.

People turned to the Share Shack for support – kind words and important supplies made all the difference. 

Alice was one of those evacuated: It was a very long night with no sleep at the community centre. And we were well looked after but things were getting quite stressful. It was quite overcrowded and lots of noise. And then I looked up and Christina was there. And she gave us a warm welcome brought us back to the Shack, made as a hot drink, said all the right words to make us feel better. She helped my wet feet with fresh socks and fresh trainers, and a fresh pair of trousers warming me up. And they’ve helped with food, good company, and general kindness of support. 

 The Share Shack is two minutes’ walk from the flooded building, so when the disaster struck it stepped into its role as a good neighbour. Team members Christina and Julie were ready with hot drinks and other essentials that people were in need of.    

The Share Shack is all about sharing resources – it’s a library of things – and a community hub, and while people couldn’t go home it became a space to leave bags, charge phones, or eat a warm Big Feed lunch. There was also a supply of food, clean fresh clothes and sanitary products. For Alice, Titus, Kawa and Zaffar — the existing connection to the team at Share Shack led to a speedier recovery from the flood.

More importantly, the compassion they experienced left them feeling hopeful: “We all are very, very grateful for the support for the kindness and compassion we received from the Share Shack people.” 

The rest of the community stepped in too. The emergency accommodation didn’t allow pets. As Alice shared this dilemma with the team, Sarah, who was in the Share Shack at the time volunteered to look after her cat for her. Although they had not met, Alice could return to the hotel, trusting her beloved pet was in safe hands.  

The Brecon Tower neighbours have now returned to their flats. Equipped with the mops and buckets gifted to the Share Shack and community by the Commonwealth Games legacy, people joked that they’d never been happier to get a new mop.  

Research suggests that in emergencies — the quality of the social connections in the community provides more protection than any physical infrastructure. These connections are vital for recovery in both the short and long-term. Since 2020 the Active Wellbeing Society has been working with the community to make Share Shacks a safe space for people to connect with one another.  We are grateful for the trust people showed in turning to the Share Shack at a time of need. We are even more proud that the Share Shack is a space which enables members of the community to support each other, proving that individual acts of community care can and do make a difference to people’s lives.  

Bryony Lawless
Author: Bryony Lawless