UK Disaster Response 2

Samaritan’s Purse mobilises staff, equipment and volunteers to provide emergency aid to victims of natural disasters in the UK. We respond in tangible ways to help families devastated by disaster rebuild their lives.

Natural disasters can strike at any time, critically affecting unsuspecting families. in the run-up to Christmas 2015, flooding devastated large parts of Cumbria, and during the winter of 2013/14, torrential rainfall and flooding severely affected communities in southwest England.

Together with local churches, volunteer teams were able to express countless acts of compassion, helping families who were traumatised by the disaster. Where water had come into homes ruining carpet, furniture and walls, volunteers cleared out the damaged items and retrieved what could be salvaged.

You can read more about our work around the UK below:

Rucksacks for Refugees

As part of the Home Office Syrian Vulnerable Persons’ Resettlement Scheme, Suffolk has agreed to take up to 200 people over the next 5 years. The first three families have arrived so far, with children ranging from toddler to primary school ages. As part of the welcome gifts given to the families through Suffolk Refugee Support (the local charity providing the wraparound support services), each child received a Samaritan’s Purse backpack of goodies tailored to their age group, including toys, activities and children’s hygiene products. The backpacks were presented to the children on their arrival at the airport in the UK. They provided them with great entertainment on the minibus journey to their new home in Suffolk, and it was so lovely to see their eyes light up at the contents of their backpacks. Some of the children have now started school and are using their Samaritans Purse backpacks there as well.

A spokseperson from Suffolk Refugee Support said: “Thank you so much for your support in welcoming these vulnerable young people!”

Earlier this year, Nottinghamshire also welcomed 81 refugees to the county, as part of a Home Office commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrians fleeing persecution and violence in their homeland. Among them were 45 children, ranging in age from infants to tweens.
rucksack for refugees UK DART
As part of a welcome event hosted by The Arches Project in Nottingham, each child received a Samaritan’s Purse rucksack of goodies tailored to their age group. These included toys, activities and items of warm clothing.

In a day typified by a spirit of support, friendship and warmth, the Samaritan’s Purse rucksacks provided a truly special note of personalised welcome for each of the young people joining our community.

These generous gifts exemplified the giving and peaceful spirit of Christmas, and also helped to mark the moment these families could begin working to put the horrific ordeals of the past four years behind them.

These provisions cost approximately £20 per rucksack. If you’d like to give towards this project, please visit our donations page.

Cumbria flooding

Cumbria 1Following the extensive flooding brought about through Storm Desmond in Cumbria on 5 December, Ian Macleod, Head of UK Disaster Relief, is working alongside Sandylands Methodist Church in Kendal. In the immediate area, some 134 homes have been flooded and a significant number are without contents insurance. The team are doing a fantastic job of being available and reaching out to needs as they become known, despite having significant flood damage themselves.

There are uncertain days ahead as the consequences of the destruction become clear and we will stand with this church for as long as we are able.

After one task where we assisted in relocating a young mother and her children from their uninhabitable home to a temporary hostel, Ian Macleod observed, “The day showed the reality of disruption on individuals and with the church in the thick of supporting their community, God’s love is being clearly demonstrated. The sense is growing that the deeper needs will become apparent after Christmas for those without family nearby and in financial difficulties.”

Ian continued, “This is a complex situation with widespread flooding across the county with individuals, families, homes, businesses and tourism being impacted. We will be available to support the local church as they work to meet the practical and emotional needs of those affected by the flooding.”

You can give to help this vital work by visiting our donations page.


Find out more and sign up for our next Sharing Hope in Crisis Seminar in Ebbw Vale on 26th November 2016

Response to Somerset flooding, March 2014


Read more about our response to the flooding in Somerset in March 2014.

Discover more about our UK Disaster Response programme by downloading our brochure.



Responding through the Local Church

After a disaster strikes, we have found that working with the local church to set up a disaster response site creates the best environment for delivering intentional and immediate assistance. We call the churches we partner with in disaster response, Lighthouse Churches.

A Lighthouse Church helps coordinate a place for out-of-area volunteers to sleep and eat their meals, and is the facility where orientation for new volunteers is held. With the help of Samaritan’s Purse’s resources, experience, and volunteer teams, you can make your church a Lighthouse of refuge in the storm of disaster and be there for people as time moves on.

Learn about becoming a Lighthouse Church.

Samaritan’s Purse disaster response depends on volunteers to help bring physical help and spiritual comfort to those affected by disaster. In order to help families rebuild their lives, we need people to help with clearing gardens, cleaning and doing initial recovery work on damaged homes, listening and valuing peoples stories and simply being there for them.

When you sign up as a volunteer, you will receive the latest information about our UK disaster response. If we have volunteers ready to serve in the event of a disaster, then we can be more effective in getting help to affected communities.

Sign up to volunteer:

UK Disaster Response Volunteer Sign-Up

Your Support Matters

Please pray for the victims of disasters and for the staff and volunteers of Samaritan’s Purse as they prepare to respond quickly, effectively and compassionately.

To best respond at a moment’s notice, we need to be equipped with the necessary equipment and supplies to bring immediate assistance. Your donation can equip Samaritan’s Purse to respond quickly to disasters with physical, emotional, and spiritual aid.

Donate to Support UK Disaster Response.