West Country responds to Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Parts of the British Virgin Islands have been devastated by the hurricanes. Credit: Adrian Bashija

Efforts are taking place across the West Country to heal the wounds inflicted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

A number of individuals and companies from the region are fundraising and coordinating humanitarian support for the British Virgin Islands.

Plymouth-based warship HMS Ocean is due to arrive in the Caribbean to deliver much-needed aid.

Simon Roberts from Salcombe had been living in the British Virgin Islands for 15 years before the hurricane season arrived.

Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed his family home.

Mr Roberts took his children back to his mother's home in Salcombe.

A carpenter by profession, he has teamed up with fellow BVI resident Leo Whiting.

They have started a project that hopes to find other UK tradesmen to bring back to help with the rebuilding effort.

Mr Roberts recorded a video message showing the devastation at his BVI home. Credit: Simon Roberts

In Helston, Cornish charity Shelterbox have been at work for weeks.

Shelterbox says the second disaster has complicated an already extensive operation.

The charity says it is not just the initial storms that they need to be aware of when distributing aid.

Shelterbox is providing crates full of essentials to be sent to BVI. Credit: ITV West Country

Other less tangible effects of a natural disaster are the inevitable loss of law and order.

With many police officers unable to get to work, Maria left British citizens in need of protection.

Police in Somerset have answered that call.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh is leading the international policing effort, sending over a team including four South West officers to support the Islands' force.

The Chief Constable says there are sixty officers deployed in total and he is pleased British police forces are able to help.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh says sixty officers have been deployed. Credit: ITV News

With the islands' tourism industry battered, the main source of income has been cut.

Jim Scott is coordinating a large volunteer group from his home in Somerset.

Mr Scott lived and worked in Tortola for 19 years.

He says longer term a lot of help is needed to help rebuild the BVI economy.

The islands' industries have been massively affected by the disasters. Credit: ITV News