Beast from the East freeze is no match for warmth of Sunderland’s Good Samaritans

Dr Mark Carpenter and other members of the ICCU team who made it in during tough weather conditions in a photo he tweeted to followers.
Dr Mark Carpenter and other members of the ICCU team who made it in during tough weather conditions in a photo he tweeted to followers.
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Wearside is counting the cost of the weather financially, but the gains to the community may be worth more than pounds and pence.

We’re constantly being told that Brexit has divided us as a city, but the Beast from the East may well have brought us closer together.

Rather than turning our community into an insular self-serving set of individuals, the so-called Snowmageddon has reminded us how well we work when we work together.

If there’s a more caring, selfless community than Sunderland, we’re yet to meet it. The stories of ordinary folk doing extraordinary things to help their fellow man have been legion since the snow hit.

Even the little things speak volumes.

One of our reporters who walked into work, was stopped every five minutes by passing motorists asking if he was alright and if he wanted a lift to safety.

We’ve reported on motorists arming themselves with tow ropes to clear stranded cars from roads and Good Samaritan neighbours trawling the streets with shovels to clear OAPs’ paths.

Companies too have stepped in to the breach to help where they can. Lookers Ford dealership pitched in to ferry emergency staff too and from work while Sunderland football club opened its doors to house the homeless.

And that’s before we mention the NHS staff who slept overnight in hospitals to make sure they were there for their patients the following day.

Economists are predicting that the Beast from the East will cost our region hundreds of millions in lost business, but what we have gained in community spirit and togetherness from this Siberian blast may be priceless.

Who says an ill wind blows no good?