Learning from the past: how Civil Defence has shaped COVID response

  • Jake Short (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Recent events most notably the COVID-19 pandemic, and the response to it, have provoked widespread conversations across the public sector and wider society. This paper seeks to explore how we as a country have responded to the pandemic, down to localised response and the recovery, looking at the methods used by responders.

A number of those tasks undertaken by local authority emergency planners, provide an intriguing parallel to those undertaken by their forebearers in the Civil Defence Corps, and show just how important past practice can be even if it has fallen out of the main focus for activity. Coordinating volunteer activity, feeding the vulnerable, keeping in touch with people and rallying the community are all activities left to the bygone age of civil defence until COVID. These response activities not only speak across time but show that past knowledge can never be truly forgotten.

This paper will aim to draw attention to those efforts and show how they form part of the country re-learning from its Cold War-era civil defence priorities.
Period26 Nov 2020
Event titleTalking Together: School of Humanities PGR Colloquium 2020
Event typeConference