EMPLOYEES and directors of a Cheddar Valley steelwork manufacturer have raised money to put a roof over the head of a colleagues’ family.
Staff at William Haley Engineering, East Brent, pulled together to collect more than £2,500 for Michael Decano’s family, whose parents had their lives wrecked by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
His mum and dad had the roof blown off their house, and the community was left broken and ruined.
Mr Decano, 33, was unable to contact his parents as all forms of communication were down.
He said: “It was two days before I heard from my sister, who lives over there, that my parents were alive.
“Before that, I didn’t know anything. I could only watch the news like everyone else.
“They had no food for three or four days, the roads were blocked and no help could get to my parents or the community.”
Mr Decano, who moved to Britain in 2006, was overwhelmed when his work mates of three years came together and raised a collection of £1,355, thanks to the idea by workshop manager, Kevin Watson.
The directors then doubled it, to £2,710.
The money was sent within three days of the typhoon to Michael’s sister. Three members of his Mr Decano’s family were affected by Typhoon Haiyan, while four others were safe in Manila which was unaffected.
Mr Decano said: “My parents had lost all hope as their source of living was gone. We are all so grateful.
“The community also benefited from the collection, as well as my wife’s family who were also badly affected.
“I can’t imagine how they are going to start again.
“I want to say thank you to the company and my colleagues. They have been such a big help.
“They don’t know how much help they have given to the community. That kind of money goes so far.
“More than anything, it’s given them hope.”
Bill Haley, director at William Haley Engineering, said: “It’s wonderful to know the staff are so supportive of each other. It shows solidarity.
“Will Haley, my son, who runs the company, was asked to send the money collected by bank transfer.
“He doubled the amount and sent it.”
Mr and Mrs Decano have renamed their fishing boat William Haley and bags of food have been provided as well as small toys given to the children of the area.