COTSWOLD Balloon Safari worked tirelessly over the weekend to help transport people across the region when 'Storm Emma' struck.

The hot-air balloon flight organisers, based in Malmesbury, offered lifts to anyone who needed one in their 4x4's from Thursday through till Saturday, working shifts as long as 13 hours per day helping locals out.

Owner and chief pilot Mike Jennings, chief crew member Simon Bell and other members of the team all gave lifts to nurses, carers or anyone who was stranded as well as delivering emergency supplies to homes that needed it.

"It's something Mike vowed to do after the previous spell of heavy snow back in December and felt he needed to make use of the resources he had.

"We have the land rovers sitting there so it made sense to make the most of the resource we had and help people out," he said. "Although the advice given was not to go out, people still did but some had no choice.

"There was one guy who was working for the Met Office in Exeter. He got stuck on his way back and his pregnant wife was at home and their heating went off so we went and dropped off some logs and fire lighters so at least they could have some heat.

"We also took a District nurse to Tetbury to do her round and then took her back home in the evening as well as care home staff and people who needed to get to the shops.

"There were also a lot of people getting stuck on Thursday so we took a lot of people home who had to abandon their cars."

Mike was thankful to his staff, particularly Simon, who worked long hours driving in the treacherous conditions but felt it was important they showed their community spirit.

"We like being part of the local community," said Mike. "I grew up in the city but I love the tight community feel in Malmesbury so it was important for us to contribute."