Winter may be well and truly here, but help and support is available to both individuals and local communities from Eden District Council and its partners for the unexpected events it can bring.
The support available ranges from assistance for local communities with resilience and emergency planning to activities at Appleby and Penrith Leisure Centres to keep you warm and well this Winter.
Community Emergency Plans
Eden District Council’s Communities Team, through Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT), offers small grants to support communities who wish to create their own emergency plans by for example forming a Community Emergency Group. The plans are designed to help improve the resilience of local residents should an incident such as extreme weather occur. They set out how to address local challenges identified in the plan and encourage local, personal and household resilience.
The plans can also be for less extreme scenarios such as looking out for the elderly and vulnerable in your community who may be most at risk during periods of prolonged cold weather.
One area who has benefitted from community resilience planning is Patterdale near Ullswater. Rob Shephard from the Patterdale Parish Community Flood Group, said: “Patterdale was badly affected by the ravages of Storm Desmond in December 2015. We are very grateful for all the support from the public sector agencies with our recovery, but we realised very early on that we also required a greater level of self-sufficiency in responding to this type of emergency in the future.
“In January 2016 we set up the Patterdale Parish Community Flood Group. We have worked tirelessly not just on the ongoing recovery work, but also on developing resilience to future events. We have put in place an emergency plan with volunteer wardens to coordinate activities, as well as a series of emergency stores across the Parish containing everything from sandbags to shovels.
“Central to our approach has always been the fact that the people best placed to set priorities and identify problems are us in the community, and this is what drives our plans. We realise that nothing can ever fully prepare you for the devastating impact of an event like Desmond, but we hope that our efforts have gone some way to making sure that we are better prepared now than we were in December 2015 and would welcome the opportunity to share our approach with other communities across Cumbria.”
For more information about the help available to devise a community emergency plan contact Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) on 01228 817224 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Communities in flood risk areas who have devised an emergency plan are recognised under Eden District Council’s Sandbag Policy. The District Council works proactively community flood groups to agree as part of the plan where sandbag stores can be allocated to help alleviate the effects of any future flooding.
Help for households
Families and households can better cope with emergencies by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Consider what type of emergency might occur in your area and how you can be better prepared. A ‘Grab Bag’ checklist and list of contacts are a good place to start. For help to prepare yours visit the ACT website: www.cumbriaaction.org.uk/What-We-Do/Community-Emergency-Planning
If your home is hard to heat in the Winter you may be entitled to a free energy audit from Cumbria Action for Sustainability (CAFS). The survey can look at your home energy efficiency, how it can cope with extreme weather. For more information call CAFS on 01768 210276.
Winter Wellbeing – Activities at Leisure Centres
Appleby and Penrith Leisure centres have a range of activities to keep you warm and well this Winter.
Over 65s Club
Held on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm and Fridays 9.30am-12pm at Penrith Leisure Centre. Costing only £3.50 per session (including a free hot drink), you can try a whole range of activities to help keep you active from Table Tennis, Badminton, Gym Sessions and Water work out (Fridays Only). The Club also has a very active social network for more information call Penrith Leisure Centre: 01768 863450.
Get back into football at Penrith Leisure Centre with Walking Football – Drop in sessions for people aged over 60’s on Friday mornings costing £3.50 per session (includes a free hot drink).
One way to beat the Winter Blues and stay active is with a Swim Membership for Penrith and Appleby Leisure Centres costing £20.95 a month. You can enjoy inclusive access to the pools at both centres for more information visit www.better.org.uk
Other activities at Penrith Leisure Centre
- Men and Women’s Back to Hockey Sessions – Thursday’s 8pm-9pm. Drop in session £2 for your first 6 sessions. All abilities welcome.
- No Strings Badminton Club – Fridays 4pm-5pm £2 Teen Badminton
Fridays 7.30pm-9.30pm – £2 adult mixed ability.
- Back to Netball Thursday’s 6-7pm. Drop in session £3.00.
For more information and advice about Winter readiness visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/winter or lookout for advice from the Cumbria public sector agencies on social media using the #winterready hashtag For more information about events and activities at Eden Leisure Centres visit www.better.org.uk