The East Locality of Swindon has been chosen to take part in a unique project to reduce future flood risk and Community Flood Resilience Officer for Swindon Grace Martin is working in the area until 2015 and will be running a series of free events.
Following significant flood events and the estimated increase in flood risk, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has prioritised a need for partnership working and community focus to appropriately manage flood risk
In order to explore the best way to work in partnership and have a community focus, DEFRA has funded 11 projects across the UK. Swindon Borough Council has worked with the National Flood Forum, a UK charity, to be one of the projects.
The Swindon project is specific to the East Locality, and will be running until March 2015. However, the outcomes of the project will continue for much longer, indeed the hope is for all outcomes to be completely sustainable and community led. The East Locality has been chosen because there are areas at risk from the following: river flooding, surface water, and Coate Water Reservoir.
The aim of the project is to increase individual’s resilience to flooding. What makes this project unique is that there is a focus on increasing resilience through education.
For example, the project will be working with local Scout groups to create a Flood Awareness Badge, with New College to create a Foundation Course and E-learning package (the latter will be available for public use), and with communities and partners to create a DVD which will be used by schools to raise awareness of flooding in the East Locality.
There will also be free events where people can come along to share their experiences and issues of flooding, learn more about their personal flood risk and ways to manage their risk.
The first of these free events is on Park South Community Centre on Saturday 7 December, 10am-2pm, open to all.
In addition to education, another big focus of the project is community engagement. The project wants to listen to people’s views, concerns and experiences regarding flooding in their area.
The project wants to give people a voice and an opportunity to be heard, and thereby ensuring the community members are driving the project through issues which are personal to them.
Through successfully engaging with community members, local flood action groups can be created, and the groups can have a key role in representing their communities.
Anyone in the East Locality can be involved in the project. If you would like to be involved in any part of the project- from coming along to the events being held, sharing your personal stories or issues regarding flooding, or wanting to be part of a local flood action group, please contact Grace Martin.
Grace is the Community Flood Resilience Officer for Swindon and is contactable on 07842163437, 01793 464855, email@example.com, or on Facebook (search Grace Martin).
Grace is based in Swindon and is very excited to meet you all (especially 7 December at Park South Community Centre!) and to help bring about a successful increase in people’s resilience to flooding.
Please note, if you do not live in the East Locality, but have any flooding concerns or issues, or would like to set up a flood action group, please contact the National Flood Forum on 01299 403055.