LCEP Newsletter 01 – London Plus and VCSEP launch the London Communities Emergencies Partnership
We want to update you on the new London Communities Emergencies Partnership – or “LCEP” for those who enjoy an acronym. Please read on to find out more about the partnership and how you can be involved.
As some of you will know, LCEP has been formed as a result of the last few years of learning and reflecting on how the voluntary and community sector, partners in the faith and belief sector, funders and statutory partners work together in planning for, responding to and learning from major emergencies across the capital.
LCEP is a partnership – co-chaired by London Plus and the VCS Emergencies Partnership and we have written a blog that explains who we are, where this partnership came from and how we hope it will work.
Whether your organisation is an emergency specialist, is local infrastructure or a community group – whether you focus on faith, equality and or grassroots community support, if we work together, we know there will be better outcomes for people impacted by emergencies across London.
We encourage open and transparent relationship building, information sharing and skills development in order to strengthen London’s resilience, and our collective ability to respond when something awful happens.
Thank you to City Bridge Trust, GLA and London Councils who have chosen to invest in the formalising of LCEP as the body to bring this group to life.
Join the LCEP Team
There are three vacancies as we build the LCEP team – if you are interested in strengthening the way the VCS prepares and responds to major emergencies, and are passionate about connectivity and partnerships – come and join us. Please do forward this bulletin and these opportunities with your wider networks.
How to get Involved
Whether preparing for a potential threat that faces us, or responding when an emergency hits, there are a number of simple ways to stay connected across this community:
When preparing for a threat:
- Join the online conversation on the LONDON slack channel: Connect with peers across London, informally share and receive information at times that work for you.
- Attend virtual meetings: For those with particular concerns or practical involvement, we have a touchpoint quarterly when we discuss work identified via the London Resilience Forum. The next meeting is on Wednesday 18th January at 10:30am. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join.
- Practice together at tabletop exercises: Semi regular opportunities to practice with peers how we would connect better in response to the threats we face. Contact email@example.com to join.
- Subscribe or contribute to this quarterly newsletter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe.
When an emergency strikes:
The LCEP team will bring partners together who are either directly involved or able to support into a multi-organisation response team that has simple communications channels and spaces to rapidly share information and support.
As LCEP Partners, your networks also have access to the National Emergencies’ Partnership Network Call, National Bulletin and the Capability Development events. These are optional and provide opportunities to share experiences and knowledge with other regions across the country.
We’re going to continue to adapt and evolve in a way that works best.
Surge Support for Food Aid over Winter
We have brought together a group of partners who are taking emergency action to support access to food in London over this winter. Many of our partners including Felix Project and Trussel Trust – and local volunteer centres are deeply concerned about the current situation and identified the following as a summary of the most pressing needs:
- Unprecedented demand
- Challenges with distribution – linked to rising costs businesses are facing
- Storage capacity – need for freezer space
- Lack of culturally appropriate food
- Hubs and support to run those hubs to provide interconnectivity
- Volunteering capacity
- Financial sustainability for VCS organisations providing food support
If you are active in this space, have information to share, or need or can offer surge support, please join us. You can join the conversation on Slack – where we encourage partners to share information and requests for support from other partners, or email us on email@example.com to join monthly calls to exchange ideas in (virtual) person. The next meeting will take place on Monday 9th January at 15:30pm.
Cold Weather Alert
On Monday afternoon the Met Office, UK Health Security Agency, Met Police, and the London Resilience Group met to discuss the ongoing cold weather. No significant issues have been reported by partners, and the situation is expected to remain stable over the coming days. If the situation changes (i.e. additional weather warnings are issued), this will be reassessed.
Partners are asked to continue to:
- Consider individual organisational actions as outlined in your own organisational cold weather plans.
- Share communications messaging as required – UKHSA Communications Toolkit attached.
- Report any issues by exception via the London Situation Awareness System or via firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t have access to the above system.
We had a taste of this recently, so we encourage our partners to consider what pre-emptive action you can take to prepare the communities you support for the impact of very cold weather should it happen again over the coming weeks and months. There are a number of resources available:
- VCS Emergencies Partnership Winter Preparedness webpage – a signpost to a great deal of statutory and partner guidance on preparing organisations and individuals for winter.
- Cold Weather communications toolkit.
- London Flood Awareness week ran from 28th November – 4th December. Although the week has ended, the risk remains – particularly after a cold snap. Surface water (flash) flooding is something we encourage our partners to be more aware of, including how to be better prepared. If you haven’t seen the resources previously, take a look at the communications and social media toolkit, webpages, and simple quiz.
On 7th December – LCEP hosted a winter-storm table top exercise. Representatives from the GLA, a number of local authorities, specialist response organisation charities, and a number of local volunteer centres and local infrastructure came together to test their ability to respond, to understand and navigate how connections are made, how information flows and crucially how the needs of individuals – particularly those most impacted – are met.
The materials used for the scenario have been designed in a way that with a little tweaking they can be used again in-house with your own organisations, or at village/town level, and we encourage you to look at how you might redo the exercise in your networks to dig into some of these questions.
Here is a read out of the notes and suggestions identified, as well as copies of an organiser pack, a facilitator pack and a meeting pack for participants. If you do decide to run something like this locally, please do let us know how you get on, and what was helpful.
Community Resilience Fund
London plus are working with the Greater London Authority to offer grants of up to £5,000 for community and voluntary sector infrastructure organisations to work with their local authorities and Borough Resilience Forums (BRF) for a six-month period. We are looking to fund projects that focus on partnership building between the community and voluntary sector, local authorities and other statutory partners, increasing community preparedness and/or strengthening community resilience.
The application window will open on Wednesday 4th January 2023, when application forms and guidance will be made available online. However, we wanted to let you know as soon as possible so that you can start having conversations with your local authority and BRFs. Agreement from your local authority or BRF to work with them on your proposed project will be required as part of your application.
Let us Promote your News
If your organisation has something interesting or important to promote to others working in the resilience and emergency planning and response space across London, please do let us know – we’d love to use the LCEP bulletin to promote the great work of our partners and are happy to feature and promote all relevant activity across our partnership community.