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Webinar Replay

COVID-19: Community Resilience and Volunteers

Recorded 2 April 2020 (09:00 - 10:30 BST)

The webinar is for staff in community organisations and for volunteers. The webinar will;

  • explain the UK structures for responding to Covid-19 including the role of the community in those
  • give an overview of the strategic priorities for Health & Social care
  • describe the protections and support for ‘vulnerable persons’ most at risk from this virus and its impacts 
  • examine the importance of national and local essential services that are critical to the wider community and economic responses, the continuity of these services and how local small, medium enterprises and corporate bodies can and are helping
  • consider how volunteers are being organised and how you can help.

We will then look at how you, as a Business;

  • safely involve your Business in volunteering to support the responses
  • contribute using your businesses unique skill-sets, local knowledge and available resources
  • access the official response structures to ensure offers match identified needs.

Meet our speakers:

Duncan Shaw, Professor in Operational Research and Critical Systems, University of Manchester

Duncan is Professor in Operational Research and Critical Systems (Alliance Manchester Business School) at the University of Manchester. He works in the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute focusing on social and decision making aspects of disaster planning and response including community resilience.

Duncan sits on numerous research, policy, planning and evaluation committees for the European Union, United Nations, international NGOs, UK government, NGOs. He chairs a committee on Community Resilience for the International Standards Organization and wrote the standards on spontaneous volunteers (ISO22319), conducting peer reviews (ISO22392), mass evacuation (ISO22315), and vulnerable people (ISO22395).

David Powell, Visiting Academic at the University of Manchester

David is a visiting Academic with University of Manchester. Following careers in the Army and Police Service, David went on to be Head of Emergency Planning & Business Continuity for Lincolnshire County Council, and Secretariat to the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum between 2008 and 2016.

David led local and national planning to coordinate emergency responses to the Coastal Surge threat along the East Coast of the UK, working together with other LRFs, Government Departments, Cabinet Office, and national organisations such as the Environment Agency, Military and Met Office.

Professor Margaret Harris, Emeritus Professor Aston University

Professor Margaret Harris worked in London local government and in the voluntary sector before becoming an academic specialising in practice-focused research on charities and voluntary organisations.  She was Assistant Director of the Centre for Voluntary Organisation at the LSE from 1987 to 1998 and joined Aston Business School in 1999 as the UK’s first Professor of Voluntary Sector Organisation. 

Although now classified in the current crisis as ‘elderly’ and therefore vulnerable, Margaret is currently working from home to help coordinate local informal efforts to match volunteers with their neighbours who are in need of practical or emotional support.  She is also working with fellow trustees of two charities to ensure their sustainability through and after the Covid-19 crisis. 

David Norris, Head of Service Delivery (Operations), Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service

David has over 25 years’ experience in operations and emergency management including operational response, community protection and statutory enforcement. In the response to Covid-19 he is chairing the Thames Valley LRF’s ‘Community Hubs and Volunteering Group’ which has coordination responsibilities across local authority community hubs and partners to manage staff and volunteers in supporting vulnerable people.

Deborah Higgins, Head of Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College (EPC)

Deborah is an experienced emergency management and business continuity specialist. Having designed large-scale crisis management training and exercises, she has also led on the design and development of British Standards and qualifications.

As Head of the Cabinet Office Emergency Planning College, Deborah is responsible for directing all EPC activities and for managing the relationship with the Cabinet Office, Serco and wider stakeholder groups. With vast practical experience in emergency management and business continuity management internationally, Deborah has designed and coordinated large-scale multi-agency incident and crisis management training and exercises at operational, tactical and strategic level.


Please note: The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the National Standards Body (NSB) for the UK. This webinar was organized as a collaboration between BSI (The National Standards Body), BSI Group and the Emergency Planning College (Cabinet Office), in accordance with competition law. By registering for this webinar replay, you are providing consent for BSI’s NSB and non-NSB businesses alongside the Cabinet Office and Emergency Planning College to contact you on matters relating to this webinar.

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