‘It felt like DIY SOS’...Community rallies to aid of flooded school

Shelley Primary School
Shelley Primary School

Parents and staff rallied to the aid of a Horsham district school after it was the victim of severe flooding last week.

Shelley Primary School in Broadbridge Heath was forced to close on Monday after its building was drenched in floodwater.

Shelley school flood

Shelley school flood

Torrential rain hit the district on Friday (February 8) causing water to overflow in the school’s playground and pour into the junior’s building.

However, after a ‘mammoth clean up’ by parents, staff and firefighters - and with the support of a few homemade cakes - the school was able to reopen today as normal.

Headteacher Kirsty Fitzscott has praised the fantastic response from all those involved.

She said: “It was almost quite overwhelming to feel that much support was there for the school. It’s fantastic.

Firefighters tackle flood

Firefighters tackle flood

“We had a parent come in with cakes and we said it felt a little like DIY SOS. We were just blown away really with the response that meant we could get back in and up and running and do the best for the children.”

Mrs Fitzscott explained the flooding had been caused by the large build up of rain on the surface of the school’s junior playground on the Friday.

The water then started pouring in through one of the doors and flooded two corridors, toilets, the junior hall and several cupboards.

Firefighters were called just after 5.30pm and spent several hours pumping water out of the building with help from staff.

Shelley school flooding in the toilets

Shelley school flooding in the toilets

Mrs Fitzscott said within minutes of sharing information about the problem on social media she had calls from parents offering to help.

Heavy rain was scheduled again for Saturday and 40 sandbags were given to the school by the fire service to stop further flooding.

A message was put out to parents asking for help to move the sandbags into position and again within minutes more than 15 people had volunteered to help.

Mrs Fitzscott added: “We had one parent who does carpet cleaning and he came down and sucked the water out of the carpets.”

Staff clear up hall

Staff clear up hall

Three dehumidifiers were also set up over the weekend to help dry out the building and a parent even turned up on Monday with cupcakes to share with staff whilst they continued the clean up.

Mrs Fitzscott said she wanted to thank parents, staff and the fire service for all their support.

“Our goals and our values are aspiration, respect and togetherness. We pride ourself in being one large family, we are the Shelley family and we help each other out.”

Shelley school clear up floodwaters

Shelley school clear up floodwaters

Shelley school staff clear up classroom

Shelley school staff clear up classroom

Shelley school after flood

Shelley school after flood

Shelley school after flooding

Shelley school after flooding