I write to express my thanks to the many people of the North East who were out and ready to help their neighbours during the December storms – from churches and community centres that opened their doors to those who handed out cups of tea in the driving rain.
We saw the real spirit of the region and people’s generosity exceeded all expectations.
I also want to thank the members of the emergency services, military, Environment Agency, volunteers and all others who responded.
I saw for myself, first-hand, teams of people from across the country who had travelled at short notice to help total strangers in any way they could – many giving up time with their families over the festive period to help affected communities.
To all those who gave so much time and effort, your contribution was invaluable.
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs