News and Weather

06 December 2016

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Raining Cats & Dogs

Many residents of Shropshire felt the effects of a freak storm that ripped through the county on Thursday 17th November, damaging property, rendering roads unusable, and disrupting local businesses. RAF Shawbury maintains good relationships and engages well within the local community and was ready to help those in need. The Corporate Engagement Relations Officer, Squadron Leader Kim Leach, had been in discussions with local charity Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre that had been particularly affected. The charity that rescues abused dogs and helps those that can no longer be cared for by their owners, had reported heavy damage to the kennels, paddock fences and flooding to of the lane - their only means of access to the charities facilities.

On the afternoon of Monday 21st November, a small team of aircrew undergoing training at nearby RAF Shawbury rallied together in a bid to restore the rescue centre to normal working order. The RAF personnel from the Defence Helicopter Flying School armed with only a handful of tools and a positive can-do attitude arrived at the rescue centre suitably dressed in protective clothing. Their first task was to tackle the weather beaten kennel roof that had been destroyed by the high winds and fallen tree branches. The team had to clear the now vacated kennels of what was left of the roof and all matter of debris to allow the professional workmen access to install a new roof. The damaged roof drastically reduced the capacity of the charity to care for as many dogs as the staff had relocated their current residents into the only remaining serviceable kennels.

Access to the centre had become near impossible due to numerous trees falling along the length of the lane and flooding had made it impassable for all but the sturdiest of 4X4 vehicles. Volunteers to the charity were unable to reach the centre to lend a helping hand and the postman was running out of dry socks. The team assessed that trenches would have to be dug to drain the lane of water and then repaired the potholes along the route. Having drained and repaired the lane local volunteers were then able to access the centre to continue to support the charities work. With access to the centre secured the team then removed further trees in the paddock so that the surrounding fencing could be repaired.

The RAF Shawbury team was extremely happy to have been able to provide a helping hand to a charity so close to the station. They left Grinshill Animal Rescue Centre knowing that they now had the ability to fully provide the level of care for their animals that they have done for the past 35 years.

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