Hot Spots: piloting cross-sector collaborations – supporting vulnerable communities to build resilience to heatwave.

Aligned to enliven’s strategic priorities, The Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation (LMCF) focuses funding and effort on building community resilience to withstand the social and health impacts of climate change.

In 2018, LMCF worked with Emergency Management Victoria and the Victorian Council of Social Services to develop the ‘Hot Spots Initiative’. This initiative funds and resources collaborations between community, health and social service organisations with local government and emergency services in key Melbourne areas identified in the Monash Heat Vulnerability Index as at-risk suburbs due to levels of disadvantage and higher temperatures during heatwaves.

enliven, in partnership with City of Greater Dandenong, Bolton Clarke and the Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre successfully secured one of the funded cross-sector collaborations which was focussed on the at risk area of Dandenong.  The project focused on community members who are at risk during extreme heat events by communicating health messages, empowering community members to respond to this information and co-designing local level solutions when individual effort isn’t enough. While the main outcome was focused on the health and wellbeing of those at-risk during heatwave events, other anticipated key learnings to inform place-based community resilience work included:

  • Increasing collaborative effort between health and environmental organisations from both government and the community sectors responding to the health impacts of climate change.
  • Strengthening and defining the important roles of community, health and social service organisations in working with communities to build their  resilience to withstand extreme weather and disaster
  • The importance of social connectedness in ensuring those most at risk are supported
  • The need to develop policies/practice guidelines for action during extreme weather/heatwave periods

Once evaluated we will post the outcomes and resources on our website and in our weekly updates circular. If you would like more information about this initiative, please contact Heather Lawson heather@enliven.org.au

South East Hot Spots 

November 2019 –April 2021

Since 1890, heatwaves have killed more people (4555) in Australia than all other extreme weather events such as floods or bushfires. Climate Council 2016

Building on the Dandenong Hot Spots project funded by the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation (LMCF), enliven  has received funding from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to work across Casey, Cardinia and Greater Dandenong to raise awareness of the health risks of heatwaves. Partners include the three local governments, Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre (SMRC) and Kooweerup Regional Health Service.

We will be working with vulnerable communities across the South East to improve their understanding of the health impacts of heatwaves and support them better respond to climate change/heat wave both from the perspective of early impact and personal/family preparedness and management. This includes an educational focus, emergency/immediate response and affirmative action.

The project has purchased thermal imaging cameras which will be used by and with community members and groups to highlight the difference that vegetation and built environment have on temperature.

Updates will be posted in the weekly news and if you would like more information about this initiative, please contact Heather Lawson  heather@enliven.org.au

A resilient and ready sector

Alongside ARUP and SECCCA and with the support of both State and Federal Governments, enliven are uniting organisations across south east Melbourne to combat climate change.

As part of the first stage of the program, teams from SECCCA and ARUP led a number of ‘Facilitated Resilience Planning’ workshops. These workshops took key local stakeholders through a process of planning for natural disasters with a focus on ensuring continued service delivery and support for vulnerable community members.

Walking the talk

Although enliven are not a provider of client-services per se, we do have many important touchpoints with the community through our partnerships and project work. A driving force behind our work is an intent to support vulnerable population groups. So we have taken the TAKE2 Pledge.

This initiative provides free support and advice to organisations about reducing their contribution to climate change. We encourage all our partners to also considering taking the pledge.

Resourcing change

The Climate Change Adaptation for Health and Social Services book, published by CSIRO and produced by La Trobe University and enliven, is a resource that addresses concerns from the health and community services sector, including local government about how to respond to climate change and its impacts on communities.

climate change book

To order your copy of the book, click here

For more information please also refer to resources and publications produced by enliven (SECHP Inc.)