A teaching assistant is fundraising to bring her husband’s family to Devon for Christmas after their home was ravaged by a tropical hurricane. Can you help?

A teaching assistant from Weare Giffard is fundraising to rescue her family from a hurricane-ravaged island and bring them to the UK for Christmas.

Tracey Carlisle, who works at Monkleigh Primary School, needs to raise £4,000 to support her sister-in-law’s family in Dominica while their home is being re-built.

Tracey said her husband Kervin’s sister, Miranda, and her family lost the roof of their house in the category five hurricane which hit in September.

Now they are struggling to get by with no electricity or aid apart from bottles of water, and Tracey is hoping she can raise enough money to give them some respite.

The damage in Dominica. The damage in Dominica.

“They have lost everything they own,” said Tracey.

“They told us when the hurricane hit they climbed into a wardrobe and hid there for fear of their lives.

“We didn’t hear from them for a week; it was horrific.

“The aid going into the country is amazing but it’s such a political country that it’s only going into the Labour-supporting villages.

Tracey Carlisle before and after her head shave, raising money to bring her husband's family to the UK for Christmas. Tracey Carlisle before and after her head shave, raising money to bring her husband's family to the UK for Christmas.

“Where Miranda and her family live, they have only received bottles of water and there is not a lot of food to go round.

“There is a 6pm-6am curfew due to looting on the island and the family does not feel at all safe.”

DONATE: You can donate to Tracey’s crowdfunding appeal here.

As part of her fundraising, Tracey had her thick, curly locks shaved off, and pupils at the school donated money and wore ‘wacky hairdos’ for the day.

The damage in Dominica. The damage in Dominica.

Tracey said: “As a woman, we are not out hair, and I needed to do something extreme.

“I wanted to show that compared to what they were going through, this is nothing – my hair will grow back.”

So far Tracey has raised more than £1,000 and is still hoping she will raise enough to bring her husband’s family over.

“We just wanted to create a little bit of security for the children,” she said.

“They have never been to England and they’ve never had a tree or turkey; we wanted to give them a bit of time out.

“If people could just donate a couple-of-pounds each, that’s just the same as a box of Roses, but it would mean so much.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to Tracey’s appeal can do so online at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tracey-carlisle.