Hartlepool gran completes inspirational mercy mission for York flood victims

Hartlepool grandmother Lesley Hornsby and her husband Stuart (pictured) have made their second huge collection of donated goods to help people stranded by floods in other parts of the north.
Hartlepool grandmother Lesley Hornsby and her husband Stuart (pictured) have made their second huge collection of donated goods to help people stranded by floods in other parts of the north.

Tireless grandmother Lesley Hornsby has launched a mercy mission to help flood victims in York.

The Hartlepool woman, who has three children and four grandchildren, put out a Facebook message asking for people to donate food, blankets, toiletries and baby accessories.

Hartlepool grandmother Lesley Hornsby and her husband Stuart have made their second huge collection of donated goods to help people stranded by floods in other parts of the north.

Hartlepool grandmother Lesley Hornsby and her husband Stuart have made their second huge collection of donated goods to help people stranded by floods in other parts of the north.

Within two hours, she had delivered a mini bus packed with goods to York.

But determined Lesley was not finished. The 44-year-old, of Fordyce Road in Hartlepool, issued another Facebook appeal to launch a second dash.

And this time, she was overwhelmed with donations from all over the North East - and with people showing an interest from as far away as Northern Ireland.

By yesterday, the mountain of items filled the sitting room of her home. It had to be packed into a convoy of two vans, a mini bus, six cars and a horse box.

If it were my kids that were left homeless, I would like to think people would help me. That’s all I have done. My heart went out to these people

Lesley Hornsby

Lesley said: “If it were my kids that were left homeless, I would like to think people would help me. That’s all I have done. My heart went out to these people.

“These people have nothing left and they might be evacuated. All I did was put up a Facebook notice to see if there was any interest.”

Lesley decided to take action after watching television coverage of flood-hit York which looked set to face further damage today.

Storm Frank was expected to bring gales and downpours and most of the nine remaining “severe” flood warnings issued by the Environment Agency(EA) for England and Wales - meaning potential loss of life - are centred on York, which was inundated on Boxing Day.

Hartlepool grandmother Lesley Hornsby and her husband Stuart (pictured, right, with some of the volunteers, have made their second huge collection of donated goods to help people stranded by floods in other parts of the north.

Hartlepool grandmother Lesley Hornsby and her husband Stuart (pictured, right, with some of the volunteers, have made their second huge collection of donated goods to help people stranded by floods in other parts of the north.

Lesley said: “I put a second Facebook appeal out and by the afternoon, my front room was jam-packed and I was still picking more things up.”

The latest pile of goods included push chairs, clothes, food, sterilisers and blankets.

Lesley’s husband Stuart Hornsby was one of a number of people who helped by driving around the North East to collect items.

Donations came from throughout Hartlepool as well as East Durham and Billingham and Lesley said: “People from as far away as Northern Ireland have been asking how they can help.”

Flood water in the city of York as York Minster is seen in the distance, following the weekend's flooding. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Flood water in the city of York as York Minster is seen in the distance, following the weekend's flooding. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Others handed over money to pay for the fuel of the convoy which delivered the latest batch of goods to three collection points in York yesterday.

Lesley might not be finished yet, saying: “No-one knows what is going to happen but I know that there are children in York who have lost all their toys.”

Anyone who would still like to make donations to the cause can contact Lesley via her Facebook page.