The National Flood Forum has a team of staff all of whom are dedicated to helping people at risk of flooding.
The National Flood Forum is a charity governed by a Board of non-executive Trustees and operates through a small team of professional staff. It has a commercial operating arm, NFF Services CIC, recently created to generate funding for the Charity.
Meet the team
Paul Cobbing MBE
Paul has spent his career working on environmental issues, the first 20 years on a range of land management projects in the private and public sectors.Read More
Paul moved to Defra to lead negotiations on agreeing targets with local authorities before undertaking a number of consultancy projects, including a climate change adaptation risk assessment on the Humber Estuary and contributing to the West Midlands Local Authority Low Carbon Economy Programme and a Mainstreaming Community Economic Development Project.
Paul is the West Midlands convenor of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, is a Director at Localise West Midlands and sits on the Forestry and Woodlands Advisory Committee for the West Midlands. He has been Chief Executive of the National Flood Forum since October 2011.
Community and Recovery Support
Heather joined The National Flood Forum in 2006 as a Director on the Board. In 2007 she became a member of staff specialising in working with Communities.Read More
Heather’s personal experience of flooding was convoluted by an array of adversities in the process of reinstating her family home, which resulted in the family living in a caravan for a year.
Heather in partnership with a neighbour formed a Community Flood Action Group to address the issues of flooding in the area and work towards reducing the villages flood risk. The group managed to achieve obtaining a pre-feasibility study for a defence for the village. Unfortunately this sits on the shelf at the Environment Agency with no funding available to proceed it any further, rural areas suffering from lack of residents to make funding fit the cost benefits!
In 2007 Yorkshire suffered catastrophic floods. Heather with a fellow National Flood Forum board member went immediately to work voluntarily for several months in the recovery of the area, supporting those who had suffered flooding in their homes. Following this period, Heather was employed to work with Communities for the National Flood Forum.
In 2009 Cumbria suffered unprecedented rainfall which resulted in flooding devastation. Heather arrived the following day and remained in Cumbria for sixteen months supporting communities, adapting to their needs through the different stages of the recovery process. Culminating in her bringing together communities in partnership with those authorities with responsibility for managing flood risk. Her tireless commitment resulted in her being nominated for Radio 4’s iPM awards.
Heather works with communities the length and breadth of England & Wales, helping them find the right path to move forward proactively to reduce their flood risk. She also brings awareness to those communities that haven’t flooded but are at risk; helping them to be prepared should such an event occur. Heather’s unique experience in working in Recovery after major flood events across the Country with colleagues, has highlighted the diversity and expertise of the work that The National Flood Forum are able to give on the subject of floods.
Jean joined NFF in April 2014 to work on the administration side at the Bewdley Office.Read More
Jayne has worked in the Bewdley Head Office since 2009 and handles the Blue Pages Directory together with other office requirements.Read More
Community Flood Resilience Project Officer
I have worked for the National Flood Forum since July 2013 as a Community Flood Resilience Officer as part of the Defra funded Pathfinder project for areas in Liverpool and Rochdale.Read More
I graduated from Edge Hill University with a BSc in Geography and Geological Science and have always been interested in the interaction between humans and the natural environment which has been reflected in my past employment as I was a Park Ranger for 3 years and still help run a Children’s Wildlife Trust Watch group. My university course also gave me the opportunity to travel to many places including the glaciers of Norway and the volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands. After University I also spent a year travelling around New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.
Although I have not been personally affected by flooding, I have interviewed numerous people affected during my time working at a waste water engineering consultants. Flood asset data, along with personal accounts, were collected to create realistic models so that accurate solution modelling could be developed. Some of the projects progressed to have flood mitigation measures created; however, I am well aware of the devastating effect that flooding has from my contact with affected people, not just during the event and the resulting damage, but also from the long-term effects of worry and recurring costs. I am enjoying working in flood mitigation again from more of a community perspective to help build greater understanding of, and resilience to, flooding problems.
Outside of work, I enjoy salsa classes, socialising with friends, attending a variety of music concerts and comedy shows and still trying to tick off more places on my travel wish list!
Community Flood Resilience Project Officer
I joined the National Flood Forum team in 2016. My keen interest and passion for supporting the community’s role in response to risk and disaster is why I became a flood resilience officer.Read More
After graduating I worked in China as an ESL teacher. China is an ever evolving and dynamic country that I wanted to explore and understand in more depth. My time in China taught me the value of creating connections with people that can help them sustain their autonomy.
After graduating from my MSc in Hazard & Disaster Management last year, I felt that I would like to work for a progressive organisation, as my passion is to deliver help and support to people who need it. I feel that creating networks in which we can deliver quick and precise help to people when they need it the most, is both a fulfilling and rewarding career. My MSc thesis focused on identifying trends in social media support groups for flood victims after a flood event.
I have previously worked in social housing, helping vulnerable elderly tenants live a more independent lifestyle.
In my spare time, I enjoy Travelling (Asia, South-East Asia, Europe), Cricket, hiking, squash, and running.
Project Officer for Great Yarmouth
I have recently joined the National Flood Forum team (January 2018) and will be initially supporting communities in the Great Yarmouth and Gorleston areas within Norfolk.Read More
My background is in Social Care, Education and Museums. I am an experienced project manager and love working with communities and individuals. I have a hons degree in English History and specialised in the Norman Conquest of 1066. I play an active part of the community I live in by being part of the various social groups including the writers group. I am also part of the fete committee and have been a school governor and parish councillor.
In my spare time I love being with my family and pets (2 rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats) walking and maintaining my home and large garden. I am particularly interested in the environment and do what I can to help it. I have many
Community Flood Resilience Project Officer
I graduated from the University of Wales with a degree in Biological and Biochemical Sciences in 1998 before moving to Somerset to take up a position in Wessex Water.Read More
It was while I was in this role that I had my first experience of flooding during the devastating floods affecting Somerset in 2000. The peak of this flood was so severe that much of the centre of Taunton was completely cut off from any main routes and many of the outlying villages were under several feet of water. My office, laboratory and the mess room at Taunton Sewage Works was also severely flooded, with the flood levels reaching the first floor of the office building. The damage and devastation that this flood caused was both shocking and horrific and being involved in the clean-up operation, not just of the office but also of some of the neighbouring houses. The heartbreak and sense of loss that emanated from the affected families has stuck with me ever since.
From Wessex Water, I joined the Environment Agency working predominantly in the Water Quality team but also volunteering in the Flood Incident Room during flood events. When flooding is imminent, the Flood Incident Room is a very dynamic environment that is both exciting and pressured, but being involved in some of the major flooding events that have affected the Upper Severn area over recent years has given me a sound background into the causes and impacts of flooding from different sources that I hope will stand me in good stead in this new role with the National Flood Forum.
Community Flood Resilience Project Officer
From a young age I have been interested in the physical aspects of our environment and have always been fascinated by the processes that naturally occur in nature.Read More
Bath Spa University allowed me to proceed through the higher education system from a Foundation Degree in Development Geography, to a BSc in Global Development and Sustainability and finishing with a Masters in Environmental Management. The courses included a variety of modules such as Development and Disasters, Applied Geomorphology and Climatology. The subjects I found most interesting and important was the social aspects of environmental hazards and the applications of renewable energies.
In my spare time I enjoy cooking, music and being active, either on a hockey pitch or walking to explore new areas.
I started working for the National Flood Forum in December 2016 and I hope my experience can be applied to help those in local communities.
Community Flood Resilience Project Officer
I have an MSc in Geosciences (Germany) and an MSc in Hazards & Disaster Management (UK). I chose to focus on Disaster Management after working as a Geologist in Germany and realised how important it is to try to involve the population and communities affected by a certain hazard or disastrous event.Read More
Having been personally affected by flooding in the past, I understand the feeling of loss and emotions of flood victims and the urgent need to recover as soon as possible. Remembering how I and my family felt is something I will use to better understand the positions of people whose home has been flooded and offer better assistance in the recovery and preparation phase.
I have lived many years in Spain, Germany and New Zealand and enjoy traveling and discovering new cultures and languages. I have volunteered for a major homeless charity in the UK and have joined a group of volunteers that creates and updates maps of a region affected by a disaster in order to enable responders to reach those in need.
Community Flood Project Officer
Having always had an interest in land management, it was whilst working for a conservation charity that I decided to follow up my first undergrad degree in archaeology with a conservation and countryside management degree, as I could see how history and land management were intertwined with each other and how this has impacted on our wildlife.Read More
Outside of work I am a keen archer and currently shoot for my county team in Nottinghamshire, but my competitiveness has taken me as far as America, New Zealand and later this year to Malaysia. I also enjoy growing my own food, gardening and conserving wildlife and travelling to other countries.
Meet the trustees
The National Flood Forum is a registered charity that was established in 2002 with start-up funding from the Environment Agency (EA). It is a national organisation that helps communities and individuals be prepared for flooding and provides recovery support post-flooding.
We also provide a strong and independent voice that represents the interests of people affected by flooding. This includes working closely with national and local government agencies, flood protection companies and the insurance industry, as well as flood groups.
Governed by a Board of non-executive Trustees, our charity operates through a small team of professional staff. We have a commercial operating arm, National Flood Forum Trading Services CIC.
The Board has a maximum of 9 Trustees. The Chair of the Board is Andrew Johnston. Please see below for details of current Trustees.
Chair of the Board
Andy Johnston is Chief Operating Officer at the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU).Read More
Andy ran the LGIU contribution to the Interreg funded Raingain project and convenes the Local Government Flood Forum.
In the past he has led programmes on sustainability in higher education for Forum for the Future and the OECD. He ran the ground-breaking Masters in Leadership for Sustainable Development and was a lecturer in Business for Sustainable Development at the University of Hertfordshire. For eight years he was a councillor on Chelmsford Borough Council.
John has worked in Local government for 39 years, thirty seven years working in Environmental Health, of which the last twenty-seven years specialising in Port health. Retiring in 2010.Read More
Other interests are vegetable and fruit growing, amateur dramatics, family and attending music festivals.
Dr Anne Wheeler served as the Defra appointed Chair of the English Severn and Wye Regional Flood and Coastal Committee from April 2012 to June 2018.Read More
Anne is also a member of the West Midlands Forestry and Woodland Advisory Group and a member of the CREST (ESBRC Project) Industry Advisory Panel at the University Centre Shrewsbury.
Anne has a degree and PhD in Environmental Science and was a principal lecturer in Geography and Environmental Science at the University of Wolverhampton. Anne was also Director of Learning Innovation and Professional Practice at Aston University. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Jennifer is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a Chartered Insurance Practitioner.Read More
Before retiring last year, Mike enjoyed a career of 34 years within the Fire Service.Read More
Mike was first flooded in 2007 and had over 4 feet of water throughout the whole of the ground floor. There have been numerous other smaller floods since then almost on a yearly basis. He lives in a low-lying cottage that is part of an old mill complex in Tredington, South Warwickshire. There is a mill pond and mill race in the garden which form part of the main River Stour. The Stour joins the River Avon eight miles north at Stratford upon Avon.
Mike has been a very active member of the Shipston Area Flood Action Group (SAFAG) since it was formed under the NFF Pathfinder Group three years ago. SAFAG is very dynamic and they are attempting to utilise natural flood management interventions to slow the flow of the Stour to reduce its very flashy peak on the rivers hydrograph.
Mike says he is honoured to be appointed a trustee of the National Flood Forum. He hopes to bring his life experiences and skills to the existing expertise of the board and support the aims of the charity. This, he says, will hopefully assist communities to be better prepared for flooding and to offer all available advice and support should they suffer the devastating effects that flooding can bring to families and homes across the UK.
Enrico is a water engineer with over 20 years of professional experience in flood risk assessment and management. Based in London he is currently a Technical Director of the Engineering Consultancy WSP.
Now retired, Philip was Deputy Director in the Scottish Government until April 2010, responsible for climate change policy,Read More
Philip is a civil engineer by profession and before taking responsibility for climate change held a series of specialist and environmental posts in the Scottish Government, including responsibility for flood risk management policy, for which he promoted a proactive, risk-based approach and the production of the country’s first flood risk maps.
Currently, Philip is actively engaged with a number of charities as:- Chairman of the Scottish Flood Forum; a trustee of the National Flood Forum; Vice-Chairman of Changeworks; and, until October 2012, Chairman of Sniffer.
Phiala and a group of her former neighbours formed Loddon Valley Residents Association (LVRA) in response to the large 2007 flood event and subsequent local events in 2008 and 2009.Read More
As with many flood groups the above is achieved through voluntary work. Phiala’s day job is as a Research Director working for a FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods – anything you can buy in a Supermarket) research company: MMR Research Worldwide. Phiala is also doing a part time PhD at Reading University into understanding the institutional constructions and public perceptions of flooding and flood risk management entitled ‘Get your water out of my lounge’.
Professor EDMUND PENNING-ROWSELL is a geographer, taking his PhD from University College London.Read More