What we do

Communities Prepared is a national community resilience programme that equips Community Emergency Volunteers (CEV) and Flood Warden groups with the knowledge and confidence to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a range of emergencies, from flooding and severe weather incidents to pandemics.

Led by Groundwork South, we work in partnership with a range of other organisations at the national and local level, including the Environment Agency, local authorities and VCS organisations.

With backing from The National Lottery Reaching Communities England Fund until August 2029, the programme provides community volunteers with free online or in-person training and support, with our in-person offer tailored to local needs and priorities. In doing so, we are supporting the development of multi-role volunteer groups that have the confidence and skills to manage a range of emergencies: building their community’s long-term resilience. In the context of the cost of living crisis and climate change, this is a high priority.

Our national programme builds on a successful Lottery funded pilot phase which ran from 2016 to 2018, supporting 300 flood volunteer group members from over 30 communities in South West England.

On our Communities Prepared hub you will find:

  • A range of downloadable volunteer training resources including handbooks.
  • The learning space, with self-led training that follows a modular approach, starting with an introduction to emergency response followed by issue-specific training on flooding, snow, utilities failure, and other emergencies.
  • Information on and sign up links for training sessions and workshops, primarily being delivered online as interactive webinars via Zoom.
  • Our members’ forum including advice and support on a range of issues such as developing community emergency plans or flood plans, undertaking risk assessments, communications and fundraising.

It’s free and quick to sign up as a member, giving you access to all of the above resources. Find out more about what’s on offer and how we can help you and your local community here and follow the links below to learn more about our team, our partners and our funders. Please see below for our downloadable flyer and our Phase I and II evaluation reports.

“It was great to be part of such a massive team effort. We door knocked and handed out evacuation letters. We used the plan to book the hall and call on our tea ladies. The high-vis clothing is so cosy! The flood wardens got lots of compliments from the [emergency] services and residents!”

Cllr. Joyce Duffin, Portreath Flood Group Coordinator, whose village was flooded shortly after the group completed their training and exercised their flood plan in December 2017.

“You should be very pleased with the results of the activity. It made a huge difference and the whole process so much more responsive. A huge thank you from me. The group was awesome!”

Arthur Roberts, Resilience and Emergency Officer at Cornwall Council, in response to the same event.

Our Team

The Communities Prepared staff team is based at Groundwork South and has extensive experience in delivering community engagement projects.


We work with a number of national and regional partner organisations who are supporting the development, delivery and evaluation of the community resilience programme.


Our core funder is The National Lottery, with The Prince’s Countryside Fund and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) providing additional funding in the past. For more information, click here.

Our partners