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Suffolk Resilience Forum Inaugural Conference 2024

This year the Suffolk Resilience Forum (SRF) held their inaugural conference themed ‘Suffolk a County of Extremes, Flooding, Severe Weather and a Changing Climate’ which was aimed at the executive members of the partnership.

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The SRF is made up of Category 1 and 2 Responders supported by other sectors including the Suffolk Voluntary Community Sector Emergencies Partnership. The Executives and Practitioners across these agencies attended the SRF inaugural conference which provided networking, sharing of experiences and ideas across organisations.

The event was supported by guest speakers from the Environment Agency, Suffolk Climate Change Partnership, Met Office, Joint Emergency Planning Unit, Suffolk Public Health, Coastal Partnership East and a fantastic case study from Sheffield City Council.

The conference provided showcases and insights from previous incidents, which helped to provoke discussions around how to face future challenges as a partnership and as individual organisations.

(Photo – Environment Agency)

The day started off looking back at the 1953 floods bringing the conversation to the current day and how much flooding and weather forecasting have changed since then. The Met Office presented information around the changing climate and impacts.  The group heard about work being undertaken by the Climate Change Partnership, Coastal Partnership East and considered the resilience of communities in relation to climate impacts.

Photos: Top left – David Kemp from the Environment Agency, top right – John Hammond from the Met Office, bottom left – Andrew Cook from Suffolk Climate Change Partnership, bottom right – Karen Thomas from Coastal Partnership East

James Henderson from Sheffield City Council presented a case study where they shared insights from their response to a major incident and response and recovery issues.  This was followed by a panel discussion giving the attendees an opportunity to engage with the subject matter experts on response and recovery in a Suffolk context.

The conference allowed partners to network and build relationships outside of an incident which supports better partnership working. Having a range of topics themed around the extreme weather events allows the partnership to receive the information relevant to their organisation and awareness of what other organisations need to consider.

(Photo – Panel discussion; James Henderson Sheffield City Council, David Kemp Environment Agency, Neal Evans and Ben Wilding Joint Emergency Planning Unit.  Facilitated by Vicky Fisk & Becky Heginbotham-Blount SRF)


Some members of the Suffolk VCSEP attended the event and displayed their stands allowing attendees to network and engage around their capabilities. Suffolk VCSEP is a subgroup of the SRF who meet quarterly to network and share information and ideas around response and collaboration.

If you would like more information about Suffolk VCSEP or your organisation would like to join, please contact

Photos from left to right: Re:Act Disaster Response, Ipswich Rapid Relief Team (RRT), Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue (SULSAR)

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