TIM DREW: Task force seeking new recruits and training

Tim Drew
Tim Drew

The West Downs Neighbourhood Watch Task Force is busier than ever before and seeking both new recruits and opportunities for resilience training.

Alliances with local councils are strengthening and the force’s profile has been raised as a result of the many marshalling and road closure activities already undertaken this year.

Lloyd Harris, emergency planning officer for Adur and Worthing councils, warned local councils at the Task Force AGM last Thursday not to rely excessively on the “Blue Light” services due to lack of resource, so demand for our services is likely to rise and we will need to be ready to respond to a wide variety of situations, especially flooding.

Keith North, deputy chair of the Sussex Community Resilience Forum, indicated opportunities for in-depth training.

Sussex is to be split into four quadrants and each will have 20 volunteers on whom to call, with room for flexibility within each quadrant.

All volunteers will be trained to the same level throughout the county of Sussex and all will have a passport and DBS checks.

Training, which will be compulsory and to a very high standard, will be provided over a number of areas, including the organisation of rest and evacuation centres, catering and communications.

The forum meets every two months and gives volunteers the opportunity to provide updates on their competencies, thus enabling co-ordinators to allocate resources where required.

The Littlehampton area is one of those most susceptible to flooding and three force members – Brian Read, Stewart Williamson and Robin Hargraves – recently assisted in planting a rain garden there, for which they received recognition from the mayor of Littlehampton, Ian Buckland.

The Tarring Community Forum will meet on Tuesday (August 9) at South Tarring Baptist Church, South Street, Tarring, at 7pm.

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