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Your News Cumbria RU appeal

RUGBY Football Union President John Owen has appealed to RU clubs across the country to take a bucket collection at their games this weekend in aid of the victims of the flooding in Cumbria.

The Chairman of the Cumbria RFU as well as the President of the Union who lives on the higher ground at Shap, Owen is still close to the devastation that has been visited upon communities like Cockermouth and Workington and in his role as the figurehead of one of England's major sports, he has urged clubs to back his appeal.

"It will be a while before the after-effects of this crisis have passed and before then, families and communities will need all the help we can give them to get through," he says: "As a former policeman, I am desperately saddened by the death of PC Bill Barker while he was serving his community. He was a former Egremont player himself and his loss is the biggest tragedy of all. Our thoughts are with his family in these difficult times.

"It is important that as a rugby family we help those less fortunate than ourselves and many who are suffering to-day have close ties with us. It is at times like this that the long- established core values of our sport come to the fore - friendship and the ability to respect and assist those who are in difficulties through no fault of their own.

"There is so much to be done now in terms of getting the transport system working again and the general clean-up operation, but for individual families there will be real day-to-day issues that the rugby community across the country can help with by making a donation.

"I noticed that England wing Mark Cueto, a Workington lad, has instigated a collection at the next Sale Sharks game, and I think we should replicate that initiative across the whole game.

"We have the power to offer tangible support for people who are suffering and as a Cumbrian who can see at first hand what has been inflicted upon my community, I urge clubs to respond and help the people in this neck of the woods who are really struggling."

Donations/cheques made payable to the 'Cumbria Community Foundation', with 'Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund' written on the reverse side, should be sent to:

The Cumbria Community Foundation, Dovenby Hall, Cockermouth CA13 0PN.

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