Building Community Resilience

Throughout 2016/17 we worked with Scottish Government’s Community Resilience Unit to help them and related local groups to improve their understanding of good practice in building and evaluating community resilience. 

Scottish Government think community resilience is important to enable communities to function well, socially, economically and environmentally when faced with uncertainty, change and adversity caused by emergencies.

People in community resilience groups describe it simply as:

  • How a community responds to an emergency
  • Using local knowledge and strengths
  • Working together to help each other out
  • Community spirit                       

We visited 9 community resilience groups in different corners of Scotland to better understand what works when developing local emergency responses. Kate Anderson from Scottish Government’s CR Unit accompanied us on 3 visits and writes about her experience here.

It is estimated that there are over 300 community resilience groups in Scotland alone, but little is known about the impact of the vital role they play. Volunteers give up their time to ensure that their community, especially those who are most vulnerable, are safe and prepared for emergencies.

Working with 2 very different community resilience groups, including 3 teenage members, we explored simple ways for groups to get feedback and reflect on their development. The result was a step by step community resilience toolkit that you can find on our website here.

What next?

ESS will be working with the CR Unit to rollout the resource starting with a train the trainer programme to help local CR leads support groups with their evaluation.