Rebuilding Together

Helping Cumbria adapt for the challenges of flooding

Households and communities at risk of flooding can tap into support to become more resilient to extreme weather in the future, thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

CAfS teamed up with partners in October 2016 to kick off a range of services as part of a three-year Rebuilding Together programme, in the wake of the floods in Cumbria the previous winter. Our partners are Cumbria CVS (who are leading the project) and Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT), each with a long history of working together to support Cumbrian communities and organisations.


Support for householders


Retrofitting for flood resilience

If your home is at risk of flooding, there are measures you can take that will save you money and stress if flooding happens again in the future.

  • Flood retrofitting guide: Our guide will take you through the things to consider, depending on the type of property you have. Read the guide >>
  • Follow a real-life renovation: Follow our fortnightly vlogs as 33a Chapel Street in Appleby (the #ReadyForRain house) is transformed from a previously flooded house to a warm, cosy home that’s designed to cope with any future flooding. Find out more >>
  • Home audits: If you’re considering building works so that your home copes better with future flooding, you might be eligible for a free comprehensive audit of your home, to guide you in the improvements to make. Find out more >>
  • Advice: We periodically run advice sessions around Cumbria. Keep an eye on our newsletter and social media for details.
  • Home emergency plan: ACT has developed a plan to help households prepare for and respond to emergencies. See plan >>
Reducing waste after flooding

Clearing out properties that have been flooded has resulted in large amounts of waste in Cumbria – for example, fittings like flooring and plasterboards, and personal belongings. We wanted to understand why, and what could be done to reduce waste in the future. See what we found out >>


Support for communities

Preventing climate change

Support for communities with projects to tackle their carbon footprint: Climate change is one of the root causes of the extreme weather we’re seeing around the world. The Met Office has stated that extreme weather events are seven times more likely on a planet with human-made climate change, and research has also shown that storms like Desmond, which caused the widespread flooding in Cumbria in 2015, was more likely to have happened due to climate change. So, it’s essential that we take action to tackle the causes of climate change, lowering Cumbria’s carbon footprint.

If your community would like to run a project that would reduce carbon emissions in some way, CAfS may be able to offer you structured support. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more – email or call us on 01768 210276.


Community emergency planning (by ACT)

ACT is the county’s community development and rural charity, and will work closely with local communities, supporting them with emergency planning and resilience activities, as it has done for many years.

Communities are being helped to write or update their own emergency plans, networks of community emergency planning groups are being developed and effective links between community emergency groups and statutory responders are being encouraged. Through Rebuilding Together, ACT has been able to boost the support it can offer to individuals, households and communities to consider what they can do to prepare for and bounce back after extreme events.

Being prepared is proven as a key to increasing the resilience of people and communities. Working with the statutory agencies and other partners, ACT is supporting communities to have a voice, through the Community Resilience Network, and assisting them to agree and take practical and evidence-based action to make a difference to personal and community resilience in Cumbria.

More information: Contact ACT on 01228 817224 or visit


Support for professionals and third-sector organisations

Building professionals (by CAfS)

Training: We’ve also been offering training courses on retrofitting for flood resilience and energy efficiency. We list course dates on our Events page and please do sign up for our newsletter to hear about new dates as soon as they’re arranged.

Volunteers and charities (by Cumbria CVS)

Cumbria CVS is working with both volunteers and local charities to build resilience. Local charities are being encouraged to develop emergency plans for their own organisation, and to consider how they can help the people they work with to plan for emergencies. The project is also linking these third-sector organisations to Cumbria Resilience Forum, helping them understand the county’s emergency plans and ensuring they can continue to play a key role supporting the statutory sector in the response to and recovery from emergencies.

Communities and voluntary organisations played an important role in the response to the 2015 floods, and are playing an ongoing role in recovery. Rebuilding Together will help to build on the existing partnerships, and support local communities and organisations to increase their resilience and confidence to respond alongside statutory organisations. December’s floods saw an overwhelming number of people volunteering to help in Cumbria. Between local people and incoming groups, over 50,000 hours of volunteer work were accounted for in the first couple of months. The project is exploring how best to coordinate these volunteers, and provide appropriate training and support for them.

More information: Contact Cumbria CVS on 01768 800350 or visit



Big Lottery Fund logoAbout the Big Lottery Fund

It’s the largest funder of community activity in the UK. It puts people in the lead to improve their lives and communities, often through small, local projects. It is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by National Lottery players for good causes. Every year it invests over £650 million and awards around 12,000 grants across the UK for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. Since June 2004 it has awarded over £8 billion to projects that change the lives of millions of people.