IF the weather’s anything to go by it’s a bit of a grim start to 2014. With the warning of more heavy rainfall and potential flooding on the way it’s important that all of us are prepared for the impact of the exceptional weather.

But let’s all take a lesson from the community spirit thriving in Bicester as residents have rallied around to help those affected by the flooding.

It must have been so unsettling for the people who had to spend Christmas away from their homes because of the weather.

And while we can all feel for them, it’s another thing to do something about it.

So hats off to the people in Bicester who have clubbed together to help out the residents of Hanover Gardens who were forced to leave their homes on Christmas Eve when the River Bure burst.

Out of the kindness of their hearts they have managed to pull off a belated Christmas dinner this weekend.

The weather is out of our control – there’s nothing we can do to stop it.

But we can all play a part in making sure the vulnerable have all the help and support they need.

It doesn’t have to be as grand as the gesture in Bicester. Sometimes, just a quick call on an elderly neighbour can go a long way.

The start of 2014 may well be remembered for driving rain, howling wind and rising floodwaters, but let’s see if we can highlight the incredible community spirit that exists across our county.