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National Resilience Centre emergency responder session

By Chris Saunderson

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VOLUNTARY community organisations which play a role in responding to emergency situations, such as flooding in extreme weather, have a chance to shape the way they are supported in the future.

Ailsa Mackay, head of the National Resilience Centre.
Ailsa Mackay, head of the National Resilience Centre.

The National Centre for Resilience (NCR) works to ensure communities across the country are fully and adequately prepared for natural hazards.

It is there to provide academic evidence to support changes which can help local volunteers on the ground.

It can also award grants of up to £35,000 for community projects.

Groups in the Banffshire and Aberdeenshire areas are being invited to attend a session at Gordon Barracks in Aberdeen on Tuesday, September 24 from 10am.

Ailsa Mackay, head of the NCR which is based at the Glasgow University campus in Dumfries, said voluntary groups and charities are the target audience at the sessions in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Musselburgh.

This is a relaunch of the NCR, which has been in existence for a number of years, to better link communities on the ground with academics and the decision-makers in government.

Ms Mackay said: "We want to hear about the challenges people are facing when they are dealing with extreme weather events.

"We are looking for the gaps in research and knowledge so we can match them up."

The NCR not only provides evidence in support of local projects, it can directly provide funding for 12-month projects. Applications have to be in by January 31.

The Red Cross and Scottish Flood Forum will have representatives at the session on September 24 and there will be a talk from Paul Laidlaw from the forum.

Ms Mackay said this is the start of a process of regular feedback sessions across the country to gather vital information from community groups.

"There are still spaces for people to come along. The more voices we have the better," she added.

To find out more about the NCR or express an interest in attending the session, go to www.gla.ac.uk/research/az/ncr/, or follow the centre hem on Twitter @ResilienceScot.

The NCR brings together agencies such as the Scottish Government, Met Office, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Police Scotland, Scottish Funding Council (SFC), Scottish Flooding Forum, Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, University of Glasgow, Transport Scotland, British Geological Survey, Natural Hazards Partnership.

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