A blog from Sam Ramsden, the Flood Innovation Centre’s new Charity Support Coordinator
I am really pleased to have joined the Flood Innovation Centre as it expands its support to local charities and community groups. I am going to explain more about my role and our services in this blog, but basically it would be great to hear from you if you are interested in accessing this support or know of an organisation who might. You can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Who will I be working with?
The Flood Innovation Centre (FIC) is an EU funded project to support local organisations to develop flood resilience products and activities – FIC has access to a wide range of skilled and experienced academic and technical support staff. In my new role, I am planning to work with three different types of charities and community groups (although there is some overlap between them and this is flexible):
- Charities and community groups that focus on flooding (nationally and locally)
- Local charities and community groups that work on different issues, but want to start some work on flooding (e.g. community projects in an area vulnerable to flooding who might want to establish a flood group or warden)
- Local community gardening and conservation charities whose core work could relate to flooding (e.g. flood gardening, slowing the flow of water, monitoring impacts of flood projects)
What support can we offer?
Types of support could include:
1) developing a Flood Resilience Project to work in your local community, including information on developing flood plans, kits and property flood resilience (PFR), flood gardens, or using role play exercises to increase understanding of flood responses
2) developing a flood group or supporting local flood wardens;
3) building links with wider agencies, including visits to other projects, or linking flood groups to Flood Risk Management Agencies
4) community research support such as helping participation from the local community, surveys of key concerns, and working with vulnerable people
5) technical scientific support such as SUDS, monitoring water levels, chemical analysis of water, and digital mapping;
6) monitoring and evaluations: informal monitoring of ongoing activities to help develop projects, formal evaluations for stakeholders
7) innovation and commercialisation of flood resilience products (e.g. through a social enterprise).
The type of support is very flexible – it is not prescriptive – and it would be great to hear directly from charities so we can discuss tailored support. Free support will be provided to eligible organisations from the FIC Team, the Energy and Environment Institute and wider academics.
Join me at a Discovery Workshop to find out more
I am planning to hold Discovery Workshops to meet with charities in early 2022. My aim is to find out what organisations might want to do and where they might need external support, in a participatory discussion with other groups. Send me an email if you’d like to sign up for a workshop, or if you’d like more information about our services – you don’t need to wait for a workshop to make contact.
My experience in the community sector
Throughout my career I have supported different charities and community groups in the UK and overseas as a volunteer, programme manager and now through research. I lived and worked in Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Vanuatu – although that seems a long time ago now! When I returned to the UK, I did my PhD at the University of Hull with the Department of Geography. Since 2018, my main research focus has been managing Household Surveys in communities vulnerable to flooding in Hull (2018) and East Yorkshire (2019/20) – I worked closely with the Living with Water Partnership to feedback findings and ensure responses to the recommendations. And the survey received some national and local media coverage, including: The Independent (2021): and Channel 4 News (2020). I also supported the iCASP Communicating Flood Risk project, engaging with local flood wardens and flood groups, with the work featured in the following 2021 blog. As part of that project iCASP are producing a role play exercise to help flood risk management agencies and local community groups work together.