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SIC - Free Tyre Check - 22 Nov 2019

Red Cross to bring resilience training to island communities

Project coordinator in Shetland Frances Richardson with her Orkney counterpart Calum Swanson.

PEOPLE in some of Shetland’s most remote island communities are set to receive training from the Red Cross on how to be better prepared for any possible future crises.

Fetlar, Foula, Fair Isle, Yell and Bressay are among 10 locations in Shetland and Orkney which will receive help in improving their “community and personal resilience skills”.

Every location will see staff and volunteers work with communities to develop a “resilience toolbox” relevant to their island’s needs.

This may include training in first aid, mental health first aid and operating defibrillators, as well as how to reduce the risks of flooding. Operating and maintaining emergency generators will also be on the agenda.

The project is being supported by the Scottish Government’s Aspiring Communities fund.

Independent living service manager Nicola Stove said: “These areas have limited transport links and other resources are scarce which means when a crisis happens the local community is often best placed to give support.

“In every community we will help to locate where gaps exist and then identify what practical actions might be needed to support the communities.”

Frances Richardson, project coordinator in Shetland, added “This project will benefit the people in these rural communities by giving them the tools and skills to feel more empowered and confident to act in a personal or community-wide crisis.

“Red Cross staff will also encourage communities to run regular resilience exercises, drop-in clinics, information workshops.

The organisation said the “aim is that we want to see local people taking the lead to making their own communities resilient”.

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