SRA Community Engagement Support Officer Dawn James Talking To Derek Johnson, Jenny Pike And Sarah Elliott About The Work Of Ham Village Flood Defence Committee, With Some Of The Committee's Equipment Laid Out Nearby.

Help your Somerset community get ready for winter

Communities across Somerset are being offered free interactive online training in October to help prepare for what could be a challenging winter.

Sessions about recovering from crises, dealing with flooding and snow, and co-ordinating community volunteers will form part of an event being organised by the Somerset Prepared partnership for Tuesday 20 to Thursday 22 October.

New short films will be included, with local people discussing how different places in Somerset have responded to the coronavirus pandemic, and sharing thoughts about making communities stronger.

Pictured at the top of this page: Somerset Rivers Authority community engagement support officer Dawn James interviewing Ham Village Flood Defence Committee members Derek Johnson, Jenny Pike and Sarah Elliott about volunteering and building local resilience.

Organisations such as the Environment Agency and the Local Authorities Civil Contingencies Unit will be also represented in these films, with staff describing how they have adapted for important winter work in a Covid-secure way.

Henry Quinney, Flood Resilience Engagement Officer at the Environment Agency, said: “There have been many heartbreaking stories over the last six months, but there are also stories of communities coming together and safely looking after one another.

“We’re excited to be able to share some of these, to reassure communities about the work that’s going on behind the scenes, and to help equip the people of Somerset for any other emergencies that could come our way this winter.”

How to book places

Training sessions will be led by Communities Prepared, a programme that trains and supports Community Emergency Volunteer groups to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies such as floods and pandemics. Participants can sign up for one or more free sessions, choosing from a schedule of online training events during the three days.

People across Somerset are invited to book places through the Somerset Prepared website http://www.somersetprepared.org.uk/somerset-prepared-event/

Films will be uploaded daily from 20 to 22 October, and will be accessible both during and after the event. Places expected to feature include Ham, Holcombe, Langport, Martock, Misterton, Moorland, Taunton and Westbury-Sub-Mendip.

More information can be found by signing up to Somerset Prepared’s newsletter or following @somersetprepare on Twitter.

About Somerset Prepared

Somerset Prepared is a multi-agency partnership working closely with communities to deliver advice, support and training to help enhance local resilience to emergencies. The partnership includes:

  • Avon & Somerset Police
  • British Red Cross
  • Community Council for Somerset
  • Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service
  • Environment Agency
  • Rotary International
  • Safe South West
  • Somerset Local Authorities Civil Contingencies Partnership
  • Somerset Rivers Authority
  • South Western Ambulance Service
  • Spark Somerset
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