Rebuilding Together

The Big Lottery Fund has announced a £1 million package to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient. This comes in the wake of December’s devastating floods, and will help local people, communities and organisations to prepare for similar events in the future.
The ‘Rebuilding Together’ programme will take place over the next 3 years, led by Cumbria CVS and delivered in partnership with Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) – three local charities with a long history of working together to support Cumbrian communities and organisations. The programme started in October 2016.

Cumbria CVS
Contact: Karen Bowen
01768 800350
cumbriacvs.org.uk

CAfS
Contact: Hazel Graham
01768 210276
www.cafs.org.uk

ACT
Contact: Lorrainne Smyth
01228 817224
www.cumbriaaction.org.uk

In the photo (left to right):
Hazel Graham, Chief Executive, Cumbria Action for Sustainability; Karen Bowen, Chief Executive Officer, Cumbria CVS; and Lorrainne Smyth, Chief Executive, Action with Communities in Cumbria.

Read the full press release below
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PRESS RELEASE
13 September 2016
Big Lottery Fund pledges £1 million support to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient in the wake of the December floods

The Big Lottery Fund has today announced a £1 million package to help Cumbrian communities become more resilient. This comes in the wake of December’s devastating floods, and will help local people, communities and organisations to prepare for similar events in the future.

The ‘Rebuilding Together’ programme will take place over the next 3 years, led by Cumbria CVS and delivered in partnership with Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) and Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) – three local charities with a long history of working together to support Cumbrian communities and organisations.
“I am delighted we have secured this funding from the Big Lottery” said Karen Bowen, Chief Officer, Cumbria CVS. “It will allow us all to build on the work we have done with communities, local organisations and volunteers since the floods. We’ll be drawing on the expertise of specialist organisations and national best practice to produce plans for the future”.

As part of the programme, ACT, the county’s community development and rural charity will be working closely with local communities, supporting them with emergency planning and resilience activities as it has done for many years.

Communities will be helped to write or update their own emergency plans; networks of community emergency planning groups will be developed and effective links between community emergency groups and statutory responders will be encouraged.

ACT’s Chief Executive Lorrainne Smyth said
“This is a much needed injection of resource into supporting individuals, households and communities to consider what they can do in preparing for and bouncing back after extreme events such as last year’s floods. Communities have told us how local knowledge has informed the actions taken in emergency situations to protect the most vulnerable and reduce negative impacts for all. Being prepared is proven as a key to increasing the resilience of people and communities. Working with the statutory agencies and other partners, we will support communities to have a voice, through the Community Resilience Network. We will also assist them to agree and take practical and evidence based action to make a difference to personal and community resilience in Cumbria”.

For their part, Cumbria CVS will be working with both volunteers and local charities to build resilience. Local charities will be encouraged to develop emergency plans for their own organisation, and to consider how they can help the people they work with to plan for emergencies. The project will also link these third sector organisations to Cumbria Resilience Forum, helping ensure they understand the county’s emergency plans and can continue to play a key role supporting the statutory sector in the response to and recovery from emergencies.

Angela Jones, Chair of the Community Recovery Group said “Communities and voluntary organisations played an important role in the response to the 2015 floods, and are playing an ongoing role in recovery. This project will help to build on the partnerships we already have, and support local communities and organisations to increase their resilience and confidence to respond alongsidestatutory organisations”.

December’s floods saw an overwhelming number of people volunteering to help in Cumbria – between local people and incoming groups, over 50,000 hours of volunteer work were accounted for in the first couple of months. The project will explore how best to coordinate these volunteers, and provide appropriate training and support for them.

With CAfS engaged as a partner, households and communities will receive essential guidance regarding property refurbishments, integrating energy efficiency improvements and retrofitting flood resilience measures. Advice, guidance and energy audits will be provided to individuals amongst a host of other measures. Communities who wish to take action to tackle climate change, as one of the root causes of recent flooding, will be given structured support to develop low carbon, sustainable projects, many of which will generate income for the local community.

Hazel Graham, Chief Executive, CAfS said
“With the MET office clearly stating that extreme weather events are seven times more likely on a planet with human-made climate change, it is essential that we start to tackle the root causes. I am delighted that this funding has been secured to allow us to start to think about integrating flood resilience measures with climate change mitigation. At CAfS we have already been approached by communities affected by December’s floods who wish to respond by treating the root cause, by taking action to tackle climate change in their area.”

The project will also involve a number of other specialist organisations including National Flood Forum, Lancaster University’s National Parks Research Centre, CLASP, Cumbria Community Foundation and the Rivers Trusts. It will continue to work alongside public sector organisations including Cumbria County Council, District Councils and the Environment Agency.

The project will start in October 2016. Anyone who would like more details can contact Cumbria CVS in the first instance on on 01768 800350 or visit the website: cumbriacvs.org.uk

ENDS
Editors – contact Karen Bowen, Cumbria CVS, 01768 800350 karen.bowen@cumbriacvs.org.uk

Notes to editors
This three year programme combines the skills, experience and resources of several Cumbria-based organisations to ensure the project has the greatest impact and leaves a lasting legacy.

Big Lottery Fund
• The Big Lottery Fund is the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects.
• It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes.
• Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.

Cumbria CVS
There are over 2,300 charities operating in Cumbria. Cumbria CVS offers help to third sector groups throughout Cumbria. By third sector we mean voluntary and community groups, faith groups, sports groups and social enterprises – in fact any non-statutory group or organisation.

The help we offer covers a wide range of topics including:
• funding advice
• HR support
• payroll and other financial services
• helping to write a business plan
• training and workforce development
• support for people who volunteer
• support for organisations who manage volunteers
• support in tendering for contracts
We can help start a group or organisation from scratch, or we can work with established groups to make what they do even better.
We represent groups and organisations to service planners and commissioners. Together we form a powerful voice.

Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS)
Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAfS) aims to drive a shift towards a Zero Carbon Cumbria. With over 18 years of experience in the county and specialisms in sustainable living and climate change education, they are the leading Cumbrian organisation for energy and community-led sustainability. CAfS promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable living through events, training and practical projects. They were recently won National Energy Action’s ‘Community Action’ award and were awarded the NCVO prize for Good Governance. Recent successes include managing the £1million, three year, ‘Sustain Eden’ partnership programme and establishing Community Energy Cumbria to raise over £500,000 in community-owned shares and to develop Cumbria’s first community-owned hydro scheme. Their flagship project, now in its 11th year, is the Cumbria Green Build Festival, the first in the country, which inspires over 1000 people each year to take steps to live more sustainably.

Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT)
• ACT is the community development organisation and Rural Community Council for Cumbria.
• ACT champions community and rural issues and supports communities to plan for their future, develop projects, work with others, and influence and change policy.
• ACT’s work focuses on helping people and communities achieve their aspirations; we provide practical advice and support and deliver training. Through a variety or partnerships we are also able to represent the interests of communities locally, regionally, and nationally.
• ACT is registered in England as Voluntary Action Cumbria, Charity Registration Number 1080875, Company Number 3957858.
• For more information, please visit ACT’s website: www.cumbriaaction.org.uk

Listen to Karen Bowen on BBC Radio Cumbria
13 September 2016
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p045r3dq
Approx 54 minutes into the programme