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Response to snow was a team effort

Storm clouds over Newbiggin Bay by Angela Rowell.
Storm clouds over Newbiggin Bay by Angela Rowell.

Over the past week, there have been some truly heroic efforts by emergency services, Northumberland County Council’s workforce and members of the community in response to the Beast from the East.

Heavy drifting snow and high winds created the worst winter conditions the county has seen in many years.

The Beast from the East over North Blyth beach by Christina Wilson

The Beast from the East over North Blyth beach by Christina Wilson

Farmers and contractors joined council snow plough and gritting teams working 24/7 against strong winds and severe drifting snow to try and keeps roads and communities open.

Council staff used ride-on grass cutters with snow plough and grit box attachments as well as shovels to clear main footpaths, car parks and other key routes in and around the county’s towns.

Officers from Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service played a key role in supporting the community nursing teams, helping them to reach vulnerable patients in rural communities with their 4x4 vehicles.

They also helped staff to get to the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital near Cramlington and delivered medication on behalf of NHS partners.

Amy Heppell's Paddington Bear snow sculpture at Newbiggin by the Sea.

Amy Heppell's Paddington Bear snow sculpture at Newbiggin by the Sea.

Among the county residents helping others was 15-year-old Adam Tyler, from Lynemouth, who attends Northumberland Church of England Academy (NCEA) Josephine Butler Secondary Campus.

He offered his services on social media and knocked on doors around the village last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. He helped a number of elderly and disabled people.

The NCEA Combined Cadet Force member collected salt and sprinkled footpaths and drives with it and also asked the people if they needed any help with their shopping.

Proud parents Lisa and Joe Tyler said: “Adam felt sorry for the people trapped in their homes and he wanted to put himself to good use whilst he was off school.”

Members of the Coastguard offer advice to a fisherman on the pier at Blyth during the storm.

Members of the Coastguard offer advice to a fisherman on the pier at Blyth during the storm.

County council leader Peter Jackson said: “It has been a real team effort to ensure that motorists were kept safe, vulnerable residents were cared for and services delivered and it really has brought out the very best of Northumberland community spirit.”

A mass snowball fight on Broadway Field, Blyth.

A mass snowball fight on Broadway Field, Blyth.

Resident Ann Wallace and senior care assistant Laura Rennie with their temporary mascot Oaky at The Oaks Care Home in Blyth.

Resident Ann Wallace and senior care assistant Laura Rennie with their temporary mascot Oaky at The Oaks Care Home in Blyth.