Todmorden flood warden nominated for award
Together Housing resident, Keith Crabtree, has been nominated for an award for his flood warden work in Todmorden.
Keith has been put forward for Tenant of the Year in the Northern Housing Awards. This comes after he volunteered in the recovery of Storm Ciara in 2020, which was dubbed “Britain’s worst storm in a century”, as well as Storm Christoph in January 2021 where he stayed up all night after the River Calder breached its banks.
71-year-old Keith has been a Together Housing tenant since 1976 and is a member of the Todmorden Flood Group and has been volunteering as a flood warden since 2008, when he retired from Calderdale Council.
Throughout his 25 years with the council, Keith was the lead officer for water enquiries in the Calder Valley (mains, spring and watercourses) and worked in the recovery of many floods with the council. Keith felt that continuing to use his skills in flood recovery was the right thing to do.
Keith said: “Whilst working in the Environmental Health Department in Calderdale Council I dealt with flooding and I became aware of how devastating the aftermath could be for families affected as well as the wider community. I felt it was only right to continue to use my skills in this area by volunteering for the Todmorden Flood Group.
“With my experience I know the area very well which means I know which water courses need to be watched when there is a flood risk. I will then give as much notice as possible about the possibility of flooding and how bad it could be. This gives people a chance to prepare.
"After a flood happens, I am usually out and about helping those with the greatest need and making sure the correct support is going to the right places. I find it very rewarding helping the community cope with the devastation that flooding brings.”
Caroline Grosvenor, Head of Sustainable Communities at Together Housing Group, said: “The knowledge Keith has of the local area is invaluable during times of flooding for us as well as the emergency services and Environment Agency.
"Keith is a trusted, calm voice during what can be a very stressful time. It is great to see that even in difficult times there is familiar face ready to bring the community back together.”
The winners will be announced at a virtual event on May 13.