LOYAL customers of a popular tearoom in Wolverley are fundraising to help the business get back on its feet after it was ravaged by floods.

Gil's owner Gil Hancox has been put out of business after the village was struck by floods on Sunday, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to his cafe.

Gil told The Shuttle: "I stood and watched two feet of water wash through my home - I work and live here.

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"We were completely flooded. I'm totally out of business at the moment.

"We put sandbags and flood barriers up but the water just came through like a torrent. There was water coming through the floor.

"The bricks were lifting off the ground and the water was so strong, the sandbags were just floating."

Gil says the floods have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to white goods, floors and walls, and will take weeks - if not months - to repair.

Six homes in the village are also said to have been flooded.

"It's utter devastation," he said.

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Now, customers of Gil's are collecting donations to help the business, which locals describe as the hub of the community.

Adrienne Potter, who attends the Bosom Buddies breast cancer support group at Gil's every Monday, said: "Gil is one of the most selfless people I know and a tireless fundraiser and now he needs people to do something for him.

"He has had to throw away all of his stock and will need new white goods.

"This means he will be closed for a couple of months, which is a big deal as he is normally fully booked.

"If we can get some money together, hopefully we can help him to get back onto his feet."

Gil added: "The support I've had from our customers and from the council and my friends and family has been extraordinary. I've had hundreds of messages and people have been loaning equipment. I feel very humbled by it.

"The sad part is that I've got a team of 12 staff that are all without jobs at the moment. They have all got bills to pay.

"It could be months until we're back in business but I'm positive this is just a bump in the road."

To support Gil's and make a donation, click here.