About Mary Dhonau OBE
Mary has been flooded herself on many occasions and has extensive experience in supporting and advising the victims of flooding during their recovery. She has championed the promotion of individual household resilience and is a passionate advocate for empowering communities to work in partnership, with those who manage flood risk, to take a community based responsibility for minimising their collective flood risk.
Mary has represented the ‘voice of the flood victim’ at government level, she appears regularly on national TV and radio during a flood event, and speaks at many flood risk management national and international conferences.
Mary was the CEO of the National Flood Forum from 2006/10 and now holds a similar position for the ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ campaign. She is also the Chair of the Flood Protection Group for the Property Care Association She runs her own consultancy (MD Associates) specialising in raising awareness of flood risk, how to militate against it and recover from it.. Mary is a member of the transition panel for Flood Re and regularly supports the victims of flooding on a voluntary basis. She also presented the recent Cabinet office videos promoting the uptake of the £5k ‘repair and renew grants’. Until very recently, Mary was a member of the Anglian Northern Regional Floods and Coastal Committee. For the last two years, Mary has recently been working on the Defra funded research project into flood resilient repair. Mary is now working as project manager for the Cumbrian Resilience Showcase Project.
Mary is the co author of The Home Owners Guide to Flood Resilience, The Business Guide to Flood Resilience, The Homeowners Guide to Flood Recovery and A 4-Step guide to preparing a Household Emergency plan.
Mary was awarded an OBE for services to the environment in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2009. In Dec 14 she was awarded an HonRICS, in recognition of her high profile standing up for the public interest regarding flooding. Mary was also given the ‘Voice of the Customer ‘award at the CII Public Interest Awards 2015 and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West of England in July 2015 and was made an Hon Fellow of CIWEM in May2017
Mary is working in partnership with the Environment Agency, Business In the Community and Adler and Allan to develop 3 show case resilient properties in Cumbria. Mary has had to source surveys, products, building materials etc for free. The properties will be retrofitted with innovative solutions to enable a faster recoverym should a flood happen again. This is a bit like ‘Challenge Anneka’, only this time, it’s ‘Challenge Mary’ - there will be no jump suit or a helicopter, sadly! Mary will talk about the project to date and how it’s progressing