A DORSET charity is set to give away up to £32,000 in grants to those hit by recent severe storms and flooding.

Thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes during weeks of wild weather in the county and many are still living with the damage caused to their homes.

The Dorset Community Foundation opened its first Flood Relief Fund on March 24, with thousands set to be distributed to those most affected by the storms between the months of December 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014.

The foundation’s umbrella organisation, UKCF, received the funding from the Office for Civil Society (OCS) who have distributed the monies to 10 community foundations across the UK.

Tracy Melling, operations and fund development manager, said: “We are extremely grateful for the funds received from OCS.

“The support provided will enable families to meet the cost of emergency accommodation, help towards any structural damage to their homes and help pay towards the finances of any interior appliances that were damaged such as fridge freezers and washing machines.

“We are also offering financial support to any voluntary organisations and community groups who are offering support and advice to those who have been affected.

“At a time when people’s lives have been turned upside down, the financial support and assistance will make a huge difference.

“If anyone would like to make a donation to the Flood Relief Fund we would encourage them to get in touch.”

The funds are limited and priority will be given to the hardest hit homes and most vulnerable households.

To apply for a grant visit dorsetcommunityfoundation.org or call 01202 292255.

The deadline for applications is Friday, May 2 at 1pm.

To support the Flood Relief Fund via Local Giving visit localgiving.com/charity/dorsetcommunityfoundation or send a cheque made payable to Dorset Community Foundation: Dorset Community Foundation, Abchurch Chambers, 24 St Peter’s Road, Bournemouth, BH1 2LN.

• READERS of the Dorset Echo raised an amazing £6,500 to help local victims of the storms and flooding.

We teamed up with local Rotary Clubs to ensure that cash got to the people who needed it most as soon as possible.

The Storm Aid initiative was a tremendous success and the money has helped several families who were facing financial hardship because they were unable to work following the horrendous weather.