Helen Turner, Resilience Planning Officer
Helen Turner has been BTP’s resilience planning officer for
Wales and Western since September 2015 and is based in Cardiff.
“I joined BTP straight after completing my Masters in
Geopolitics and Security, where a large part of my studies was
spent considering resilience and the governance of emergency,
producing projects very similar to what I now work on.
“I was humbled to be invited back to my university recently to
talk about my role and resilience as a profession, not just an
academic interest. It was so pleasing to see the female students
taking an interest in my journey from being an aspiring young
student to living and breathing resilience planning as my
livelihood, and I hope this can go some way towards inspiring the
“My day-to-day role encompasses all areas of emergency planning.
Testing and exercising is a big focus of what I do; it was
incredible to be involved in Exercise Unified Response last year
(along with the four other brilliant female BTP resilience planning
officers), which was based on a major building collapse,
incorporating heavy transport and mass casualties. This was the
largest multi-agency disaster simulation exercise ever held in
“For a resilience professional, there’s a great deal of time
spent working with other organisations, particularly at the Local
Resilience Forums. It’s there that I encounter women who I’m proud
to call colleagues – women who are at the top of their profession,
be it emergency services or otherwise, and who contribute real
value rather than just being ‘a seat at the table’.
“For me, International Women’s Day is a chance to reflect on the
successes and achievements of women, but also to consider what
still needs to be done to achieve equality. The recent women’s
marches across all continents were a loud example of what organised
women can do. I hope that momentum will continue so that the gender
pay gap will be abolished in my lifetime.
“With my family roots being Welsh, starting work with BTP in
Cardiff felt like coming home and has lent itself to a fantastic
social life – something I couldn’t have even imagined being a
nervous new starter, but one I’m massively grateful for. I’m
currently one year into reading for what should be a six-year (part
time) PhD in Geography at Swansea University, and aim to graduate
“In what’s left of my spare time I enjoy fishing and represent
my university in rifle shooting, while I’m also a bit of a
daredevil - I hold a BPA license and love skydiving.”