LIVELIHOODS in Dorset have been saved thanks to The Storm Aid fund backed by the Dorset Echo which has raised more than £6000.

A total of £6069 has now been raised by Echo readers since we launched the appeal on February 12 in conjunction with local Rotary Clubs, in order to help storm and flooding victims in urgent need.

The emergency appeal, organised by Rotary nationally, now also stands at £60,000 and includes donations from all across the UK and abroad.

Areas in Dorset and neighbouring counties have been devastated. Homes, businesses and farms have been destroyed and donations will go towards helping residents pick up the pieces.

Peter Noble of Dorchester Rotary, said: “The total raised of more than £6000 is an excellent figure and I am very grateful for the help from the Echo.

“What’s interesting is that media publicity has been mainly on the Somerset levels and other places but there have been serious problems in Dorset – particularly the fishing trade in regards to storm damage.

“With the money raised I am delighted that we’ve been able to help those in Dorset and save at least one or two livelihoods. Thank you to everyone who has donated and contributed, what’s nice is that I’ve had people hand me both cheques and cash whilst walking in the street.

“We have a warehouse in the Somerset area which people have donated goods to – it is manned by eight Rotarians every day but 50 to 100 people come in asking for help every day.”

The Echo has worked with the Rotary Clubs of Portland, Weymouth, Weymouth Harbourside, Melcombe Regis, Dorchester, Dorchester Casterbridge, Lyme Regis, Bridport and Brit Valley.

Mr Noble added: “It’s important we help our own people from time to time and this appeal has been one such occasion.

“Recent examples of help include laying a path to give walking access for housebound people, coal delivered for houses where the people cannot get out and food, clothing and whatever people have needed. None of this immediate and short term help is available through government schemes or insurance as some think.”

Dorset Echo editor Toby Granville said: “These are difficult times for everyone and people don't have much money to spare but raising more than £6,000 is a testament to their continued and overwhelming generosity.”

People in need should contact their local Rotary club or Peter Noble on 01305 264070 or 07973 322937 or email