We were so pleased to take part in the newly rebranded Flood and Water Management Expo last month, and to see so many of you there at our stand and our workshop with JBA Consulting. Delivery Manager Mike Anthony and Senior Project Officers Richard Hood and Alice Moorcroft-Hughes attended from the Communities Prepared team and manned our stall in the Community Flood Zone.
The event itself was, as ever, full of innovation and passion to prepare, protect and recover people from floods with a real mix of public, private and third sector stands demonstrating a collaborative approach to overcoming emergencies and climate challenges. We were particularly interested in new initiatives that work with natural processes, using Natural Flood Management. It was also incredibly moving and valuable to hear the voices and experiences of those who have experienced devastating floods at their worst including Southern India, Pakistan and Indonesia.
The Community Flood Zone and Communities Prepared Stand
With the return of the Community Flood Zone, we were joined by Flood Mary, Flood RE, Environment Agency and the National Flood Forum amongst others who do such great work in raising the profile of flood risk and in building our resilience to this. It was great to welcome so many people from a range of backgrounds with an interest and passion about community resilience, including those who were new to community resilience making connections with us. There was a real sense of momentum and interest that we hope to meet and act on going forward, and we hope to continue working towards providing a platform for a bigger voice of community members at the expo going forward.
We took inspiration from our stand neighbours the Water Research Centre who committed to a sustainable stand by not giving away any freebies. Instead, they collected signatures and donated to the Mid Cheshire Hospital towards a new children’s waiting room for every one who signed. At Communities Prepared we are always in the business of learning and will consider how we can be more sustainable in our approach to events in future.
Workshop with JBA
Toby Jones, Flood Resilience Senior Analyst at JBA Consulting and Richard Hood from Communities Prepared delivered a presentation and workshop on day one on the theme of building community resilience to climate change. Toby has written-up his impressions and insights from this workshop below.
Delivered in the Flood Keynote Theatre, the session began with Richard summarising the Government’s strategic approach to resilience, which emphasises prevention, preparation and ‘whole of society resilience’. Toby went on to highlight the importance of linking communities with risk managers, such as councils and the Environment Agency, and the benefits of transparency and enabling contribution from communities and stakeholders to local emergency planning and response.
The workshop followed, which provided participants with the opportunity to explore practical insights into to strengthening their community’s ability to respond to and recover from floods and other emergencies. Conversational sparks flew as a great range of participants attended and were paired up – from local authorities and resilience equipment suppliers to insurers and members of communities affected by flooding.
Discussions were further invigorated with a range of engaging table-top activities that identified the physical and social hubs within communities and the links between them. The groups then explored these connections can be grown and strengthened to build resilience within their communities.
Participants were encouraged to share their own experiences and expertise, and many questions raised were met with powerful ideas and examples of successful solutions. It was well-received by a good mixture of local authorities, flood sector providers and members of the community who were able to have open and interesting conversations from different perspectives on the challenges they face around flooding.
Overall, the session delivered by Communities Prepared and JBA Consulting was a great success. Participants went away with valuable insights on how to collaborate and strengthen their community’s ability to respond to and recover from floods.
If you want to learn more about Community Resilience or run a workshop with us please contact Phil Emonson at Phil.firstname.lastname@example.org or Richard Hood at Richard.email@example.com. JBA’s recent blog on community engagement and resilience is a great example of their thinking and the conversations they prioritise during workshops.
Thanks again to all who attended and contributed such great energy to the session.
If you have any questions about the Flood and Water Management Expo, or have any thoughts about how we can make the event more accessible for community members, get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org.