COMMUNITIES across Dorset are being offered free interactive online training to help prepare for winter challenges.

Communities Prepared, a Lottery-funded national community resilience programme, is offering sessions about dealing with flooding, snow and co-ordinating community volunteers on February 17 and 18.

The event is also being organised by the Environment Agency, which is working with Communities Prepared and other organisations including the fire service, Dorset Council, the Met Office and Wessex Water, who are members of the Dorset Local Resilience Forum.

Zoey Ayling, manager at Communities Prepared, said: "Ensuring community volunteers feel confident and equipped to safely manage severe weather and other civil emergencies in able to support their communities is a priority."

Participants can sign up for one or more free sessions, choosing from a schedule of online training events during the two days and also access pre-recorded sessions and resources. Films will be uploaded, and will accessible both during and after the event.

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