When we saw the awful news coming from Freetown, it was hard to take. It is unimaginable what those people affected have had to endure over the past couple of days. The images have been horrendous. Seeing houses and other buildings disappear as they’re swept away by the raging torrents of mud and water was tough to witness. However, it is in the DNA of the people of Freetown and Sierra Leone to be tough and to show resilience.

The communication we have had with friends and colleagues in Freetown has demonstrated just that. They are out on the front line helping with the rescue efforts as they search the disaster area. Headteachers at our partner schools are actively searching for pupils and their families as they know many will have been displaced.

We have set up a fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thefreetownsocietyfloodingfund to raise funds that can be sent directly to the affected areas. Our friends at our sister group, The Hull Society, in Freetown will advise on the most productive and helpful ways to spend the funds. There has been a tremendous response so far from local people as well as the local, national and global media who have all been in touch. Over the course of this week, we will be interviewed for the BBC and ITV as well as numerous radio shows as we look to continue to raise awareness of the tragedy and the fundraising in order to help bring our friends in Freetown through this latest disaster.

Our thoughts are with all those affected.