A SPECIAL series of free online events for anyone interested in or involved with re-charging and re-energising their community, especially in the context of extreme weather and other community emergencies, are being held between Monday, November 14 and Wednesday, November 16.

The events (20 sessions over three days and evenings) are part of an exclusive Devon Community Resilience Forum event, put together by independent charity Devon Communities Together.

The Forum is a chance to find out about a vast range of topics for improving community resilience, including, how to make a community more resilient as we move into winter, get help with community emergency planning, meet the local services and discover their role in community planning, get the latest facts and figures on climate change, find out what other communities are doing to address issues such as flooding and learn how to adapt to extreme temperatures.

The emphasis will be on sharing knowledge and best practice, and providing a platform in which people can come together to gain a wealth of knowledge to help guide and develop their communities.

The event will be recorded so those that cannot attend can catch up afterwards.

Laura Dixon, Project Manager from Devon Communities Together said: “In May this year we held our first in-person forum event for several years.

“Attendees said how much they appreciated the opportunity to network with other groups and discuss the important issue of resilience.

“This winter event is online to give the chance for more people to attend, and for us to run a greater variety of sessions.

“There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions after the presentations. These sessions are perfect for emergency planning groups, Parish and Town Councils, Flood Wardens and anyone else who is involved in supporting communities in emergency situations.”

The event is being run by the Devon Community Resilience Forum, funded by Devon County Council and the Environment Agency, to support communities to develop their Community Emergency Plan; an essential document that guides community response in an emergency and helps communities to prepare.

Community Emergency Plans are also uploaded to a secure website where they can be viewed by the emergency services, so if there is an emergency in your community they will be able to view your plan and understand how the community may already be responding, where there is high risk, and what resources the community has.

Alongside supporting plan development, the Devon Community Resilience Forum runs twice yearly forum events to help increase local resilience and the opportunity network with other communities.

It also offers small grants to community groups who are putting together their plans as well as slightly larger grants to spend on equipment to help in emergencies.

Community resilience is about local people being motivated and prepared to tackle emergencies in the local community, such as flooding, drought, pandemics and fire, taking action to protect the most vulnerable and lessening the impact on the community.

It is also about empowering communities, celebrating the roles of volunteers, identifying and encouraging local expertise and promoting community cohesion.

A resilient community works in partnership to complement the work of the professional responders and other organisations before, during and after an emergency.

Devon Community Resilience Forum supports communities to:

► Develop their community emergency plan

► Apply for grants to produce and implement their plan

► Keep up-to-date with news and events via quarterly newsletters and biannual events

► Access training for resilience groups

► Be aware of urgent messages regarding flooding, drought, transport etc.

► Further information and support can be found at: https://www.devoncommunities.org.uk/projects/devon-community-resilience-forum