Reasons to join for free
There are many benefits to joining our nationwide collective of communities and volunteer training providers. As a coordinator or member of a community emergency volunteer group, or a community resilience professional, becoming a member of the Communities Prepared national community resilience network gives you access to:
- A range of downloadable and adaptable volunteer training modules, handbooks and other materials
- Options for in-person training and support tailored to your local community
- Example and template community flood and emergency action plans
- An online members’ forum, providing opportunities to ask questions and share experiences
- Up-to-date online refresher training courses
- Specialist advice on a range of other topics, including communications, fundraising, risk assessments, insurance and wider community development
- An online volunteer database and volunteer training record for group coordinators
- News and information on Communities Prepared activities and events in your area
- A non-emergency advice line and email, staffed during office hours
How to get started and become a member as a coordinator or partner:
- Sign up as a coordinator if you lead a Community Emergency Volunteer or Flood Group in order to access all the benefits above. Once you’ve created a free account for your group, you’ll be able to invite all your volunteers to join so that they can have full access too.
- Sign up as a partner if you’re a professional working in the community resilience field and would like full access to our resources. You can find out more about becoming a partner here.
If you’re a volunteer, speak to your group coordinator to check whether they’ve already become a member – and encourage them to do so if not. Once they’re signed up, you’ll be able to access all the resources too.
Registering as a member helps us to have a better understanding of the needs of your group and the reach of our programme. It also enables us to provide more tailored support to you when you need it – by knowing who our members are and what their interests and priorities are, we can ensure that this hub is a valuable resource to community groups and those who work with them across the country.
All members’ details are stored securely and not shared with any third parties; you can cancel your membership at any time via your member dashboard.
We offer dedicated in-person training and support for community volunteers, tailored to the needs and interests of each community we work with. Provided by trained project staff, volunteer training can be held either at a local venue and tailored to an individual community, or as a group session for several communities in a region.
Communities Prepared volunteer training starts with two introductory modules to give communities an overview of the wider emergency response family and a community group’s role within this:
• Incident Management Part 1: Introduction to emergency response (delivered by Groundwork / emergency services)
• Incident Management Part 2: Procedures and planning for Community Emergency Volunteers (delivered by Groundwork)
Each group can then choose additional training modules to suit their needs, focused on topics such as flooding, snow, utilities failure and major incidents. Take a look at the Resources page to find out more about the training modules on offer.
We also offer train the trainer workshops for community coordinators and professionals. These are delivered by trained project staff or partners to a small group of participants. The training can either be held locally, tailored to a specific area or delivered in a central location to a group from across a wider region. Both options provide an opportunity for coordinators to learn how to train community volunteers in the topics above, and to meet and share experiences with each other.
Additionally, we can work with our partners to organise and run local community awareness raising events, helping community members to understand the potential risks and impacts of flooding and other emergencies, and how to become better prepared. These can be tailored to different audiences from school children to Parish Councillors or local businesses and can be a useful precursor to in-depth training and support. This can also be a good way of generating more interest in a community emergency / flood volunteer group, for example, if there is a need to recruit more members.
Further support and advice can also be provided on the following areas as required:
• Risk assessments
• Volunteer recruitment and roles
• Writing, updating or exercising an emergency plan
• Property level protection
• Communicating activities and achievements to a wider audience
• Digital inclusion, including use of the online hub
• Wider community development issues
As well as access to the online hub, our funding enables us to provide a certain amount of free in-person support and training to member communities. However, beyond this we need to secure funding to work in specific areas, led by our staff team working closely with the local community. We can build a package tailored to local needs of each community that would like our support and work to identify and secure funding – meaning the costs won’t come out of the community’s own pocket. Please contact us to find out more.
If you’re still not sure whether Communities Prepared is right for you, take a look at the other areas of this site – our Community stories showcase the experiences of some of the communities we’ve supported previously, our Resources page gives you a taster of the training and support on offer, and our FAQs answer some of the key questions you may have. If you’ve got other questions, email us and we’d be happy to discuss further.