A campaign by a regional daily to help flood-stricken communities has won the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron.
The Eastern Daily Press has launched an appeal to help those affected by last week’s storms and kick-started the initiative with a £1,000 donation.
Mr Cameron backed the EDP’s appeal on a visit to communities affected by the tidal surges which hit the East Anglian coast and also praised the role of regional newspapers in such crisis situations.
The title’s website recorded its highest ever traffic levels for its coverage of the storms, attracting 143,000 people in just 24 hours.
Editor Nigel Pickover carried out an exclusive 15-minute interview with Mr Cameron when he visited the North Norfolk town of Wells, which was badly hit by the floods.
In the interview, the Prime Minister both praised the EDP’s campaign and gave resounding backing to the regional press in general.
He said: “I think this is a really great example of our regional newspapers standing up for local communities on a very practical level, by looking at what needs to be done to help people now.
“It shows the power of newspapers to do good work, on a social level, and I will be keeping an eye on the situation.”
Added Nigel: “The need on our coast is critical, and it is essential that emergency help reaches these stricken communities as soon as possible.
“There are many people who have suffered terrible loss, including some who have lost everything and, in some cases, who have no insurance.
“It is heartbreaking, and we cannot stand by and watch. That is why we have launched the EDP Norfolk Flood Appeal, and urge everybody to dig deep to help out their neighbours at their time of greatest need.
“We will kick-start the fund by donating £1,000, and will be working with all of the relevant agencies to bring help where and when it is needed most.”
The appeal has also been backed by North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, who pledged £100 towards it.