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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood

Work / Photography

Photography: Portraits of those helping to tackle the UK floods, by Charlie Clift

The UK has taken a real battering from the sky of late, leaving towns all over the place drowning in seemingly endless floods. The news have become accustomed to using the term “Dunkirk” when alluding to the spirit of the townspeople in the most hard-hit areas, which is accurate to say the least. Photographer Charlie Clift decided to champion the members of the public who have been waist-deep in water (sometimes sewage) for the last few weeks and take their portraits for his new series Faces of the Flood. “I realised I needed to do something to record the floods and help those affected. After a small bout of research I realised that the efforts of volunteer groups and services were amazing. So I travelled to the Somerset Levels to join them.” Charlie told us.

“Immediately on my arrival to any flooded area I came across loads of people helping out. There wasn’t a split between authority and volunteers, just everyone working together getting their feet wet and their hands dirty. Some had taken time off work, others had travelled down from London or Yorkshire, and specialists had worked non-stop for over a month. Although the damage to buildings and homes was horrible it was fantastic to see the community spirit and helpful attitude of those lending a hand. I hope my images help promote their efforts and encourage others to help out as well.”

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – FLAG volunteers Aaron and Jay transport a trapped Environment Agency van over the flood waters on a floating pontoon.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Rob from Pump Supplies has been working 14 hour days getting the pipes in place to help drain the floodwaters.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – James, a farmer from the Mendips, helps move donated hay bales for the relocated livestock.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – A Moorland villager clears debris in his front garden.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Tina works alongside her mother and friends to aid those who are flooded in Moorland.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Jim, the landlord of the King Alfred Inn in Burrowbridge, organises food donations for the flood victims. 

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – A member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Organisation from South London wheels wood-chip.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Boris helps move donated hay bales for relocated livestock.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Jo helps those flooded by strengthening the riverbanks with wood-chip. 

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Dave widens a waterway with his digger to move floodwaters towards the pumps

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Ritchie, Dean and Daniel from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue help pump water from a drainage ditch into the River Parrett.

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – Members of the Avon and Somerset Police visit people still living in their flooded homes

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Charlie Clift: Faces of the Flood – A pump engineer lays a new pipeline to drain floodwater threatening dry homes.