Taverham tiler to offer his services for free to help Norfolk tidal surge victims

Taverham man Gavin Wright. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Taverham man Gavin Wright. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Saturday, December 7, 2013
12:46 PM

A tiler from Taverham has vowed to offer his services for free - and is urging other tradesmen to do the same - to help out those who have had their homes devastated by the worst tidal surge in 60 years which struck coastal towns and villages in Norfolk and Suffolk.

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People living in more than 10,000 homes were advised to evacuate on Thursday night and more than 600 stayed in rest centres as floods battered the coast, wreaking destruction and devastation with homes and beach huts being swept out to sea.

The scenes of destruction on our coast, just weeks before Christmas, have prompted Gavin Wright, 44, who lives in Taverham to want to do something to help.

Mr Wright, who has set up his own firm Gavin Wright Ceramic Tiling to provide tiling for kitchens, floors, bathrooms and showrooms, has taken to social media network Twitter earlier today to offer his services and also issue a call to arms to others.

He tweeted: “Any Norfolk flood victims need help I’m willing to offer my skills for free , I urge other tradesman to do the same,,give a day up to help.”

Mr Wright, who was earlier this year praised for his motivation and intuition for taking to Twitter to try and find a job, said: “I’m a huge fan of Twitter and my business is on Twitter so had an idea that maybe we could get a couple of tradesmen together and help anyone disabled or elderly.

“There’s a lot of people who need help and after watching some of those programmes on TV where people help decorate their houses or homes I thought there might be some people in the Norfolk coastal area that could do with some help for a day.”
Mr Wright has already been contacted by a Norwich-based painter and decorator and hopes that others too might be able to come to the aid of those in need at this desperate time.

He said: “The British public are good at picking up the phone and donating money to a worthy cause but sometimes it needs more than that. We’re good at coming together and helping each other out. We need to think what if it was my home - who would help me?”

Mr Wright, who has previously worked for Archant - publishers of the EDP and Norwich Evening News - in the print department, said while he does not see himself as a leader or a coordinator of help for those in need, he hopes his tweet will help raise awareness and encourage others to do the same.

He said: “Maybe just raise awareness that there’s people like myself and the painter and decorator whose been in touch, that we can give our services. I’ve always been a charitable person and I think there’s definitely got to be people out there who could do with someone like myself coming in for a day or two days.”

Mr Wright used to run Wright Distribution, a leaflet delivery company based in Camp Grove, Thorpe Hamlet.

But after that business closed Mr Wright, who has a six-year-old son, took to the internet to try to fix his problem.

He set up his own micro-blogging website on Twitter after becoming exasperated with unemployment.

His @NeedajobNorwich Twitter account was published to over 50,000 people.

Shortly after setting up the account Mr Wright saw his appeals retweeted but he got some surprise celebrity help.

David Gold, co-owner of West Ham United, who Mr Wright supports, retweeted one of his appeals to more than 49,300 followers.

The former Long Stratton High School pupil was shocked by the big reaction he had, including tweets from Africa and Cyprus.

Mr Wright also fielded calls from media organisations wanting to find out about his Twitter quest, including a radio station in the USA and a journalist working in Japan.

Are you doing something different to help those devastated by the floods? Email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk


  • Well done, what a wonderful gesture, pity other countries don't offer any help, after all this Country is always first to help others.

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    Derek McDonald

    Sunday, December 8, 2013

  • Well done that man. Fantastic public spirit!

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    Saturday, December 7, 2013

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