What we do
Communities Prepared is a national community resilience programme that equips Community Emergency Volunteer (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. Alongside this, we are developing a train the trainer programme to support local and national organisations, helping them to engage their staff and local volunteers directly.
Led by Groundwork South, we work in partnership with the Environment Agency, Cornwall Community Flood Forum and Cornwall College Business, as well as teaming up with a range of other organisations at the national and local level.
With backing from The National Lottery Reaching Communities England Fund until May 2024, and additional support from the Prince’s Countryside Fund (until May 2022) and Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN – until September 2023), the programme provides community volunteers with free online or in-person training and support, 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 COVID-19 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.
Here on our Communities Prepared hub you will find a range of downloadable volunteer training resources. This training follows a modular approach, starting with an introduction to emergency response followed by issue-specific training on flooding, snow, utilities failure, and public health emergencies. These resources are delivered as training sessions, tailored to local regions and communities and are currently primarily being delivered online as interactive webinars via Zoom. The training sessions are delivered in partnership with local partners, including the Environment Agency’s Flood Resilience Teams and local Category 1 and 2 responders.
On the hub you will also find our member’s forum, and advice and support on a range of issues such as developing community emergency plans or flood plans, undertaking risk assessments, communications and fundraising. Find out more about what’s on offer and how we can help you and your local community here.
“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.