Contributions from NHW scheme members’ offers an insight into what is happening around Wiltshire and Swindon. It is hoped that members’ stories will help stimulate ideas and discussion in terms of supporting community safety initiatives and offering encouragement to all members.
If you have an NHW story to share, please let us know through our contact page.
The Croft and Carlton Row Neighbourhood Watch Scheme
The Croft and Carlton Row Neighbourhood Watch Scheme commenced in 2021 and followed the setting up of a “Croft Club” Facebook page during the first lockdown of 2020. The Facebook page had encouraged neighbours to share information and help and support each other in what was a very challenging time. From this came the suggestion to start a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme and a leaflet was circulated to all residents in The Croft and Carlton Row to see how much interest there was.
Following this a committee was established with seven neighbours and it was agreed that alongside the crime prevention aspects of a NHW scheme we would also arrange some community events to a) help neighbours get to know each other and hopefully increase feelings of safety and security and b) raise money for a local charity.
We held two events in 2021. The first was a Plant Sale in May 2021 which despite wet and windy weather was very well attended and raised £464.00 The second event was a Community Day when a number of events took place including:
– Several neighbours joined together for a general clean-up of the area
– a number of residents opened their gardens for visitors some offering tea and cakes
– some neighbours had a yard sale
– a treasure hunt was arranged for the children.
A total of £350.00 was raised from this event. The Charity chosen for 2021 was the Hope Nature Centre at Southwick Country Park.
With regard to Crime Prevention, we have:
– made contact with our local PCSO and circulated advice from her to all members
– successfully applied to Wiltshire Council for NHW signage and purchased and erected these signs around The Croft and Carlton Row
– alerted via E mail any incidents or concern relating to crime.
In addition to crime prevention and community/fund raising events we have also looked into any other areas of concerns raised by neighbours e.g. parking, noise concerns and roadside trees. A Newsletter had also been produced and E mailed to all members and a further Newsletter is scheduled for the Spring. At the present time nearly 50% of residents are members of the NHW scheme.
For 2022 in addition to continuing all the events from 2021 we are hoping to have an event to celebrate the Queens Jubilee. Our charity for 2022 is the Stepping Stones Charity in Trowbridge which supports children with special needs.
Westmill Park NHW Scheme
It all started with a WhatsApp community group set up during the first lockdown, this developed into a Resident’s Association being formed and starting a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme seemed to be the logical next step. I volunteered to investigate setting up a scheme and to start with I felt quite overwhelmed and didn’t really know which way to turn or who to ask for advice.
Fortunately, an introduction was made to another co-ordinator, I attended the NHW promotion event held in Purton back in July where I was given information regarding Wilshire NHW and was able to make contact with our local Police Community Support Officer. This was definitely the turning point where I started to think that maybe it was not going to be as complicated as I had initially thought.
I contacted Wiltshire NHW and was given the help and confidence to take the plunge and start Westmill Park NHW Scheme. Once I started it really could not have been easier, a bit of time on the computer, one WhatsApp message, one leaflet drop and we were up and running.
One month on, our Scheme has been verified by Wiltshire NHW, we have over 25% of households signed up, I’m in the process of sourcing funding to purchase NHW street signage and I get a little buzz when I walk past a neighbour’s house and I see the NHW sticker being displayed. Wiltshire NHW have been so supportive throughout this process and I can’t thank them enough.
I feel proud of the work I’ve done in setting up our Scheme, keeping members informed, the contacts I’ve made and I’m looking forward to working with them in the future to further improve our Scheme and to make our estate a safer and friendlier place to live.
Westmill Park Co-ordinator, Cricklade
Purton Neighbourhood Watch – Our Journey
Purton is a village to the west of Swindon. It was first mentioned in writing in Saxon times in the late 600’s. It is recorded in the Charters of Malmesbury Abbey that Chedwalla, the Saxon King, called the village ‘Piriton, Periton, Puriton or Purton’ all of them various ways of spelling the ‘Peartree Village’. At this time there was probably a small Saxon church on the site of the present 13th century Parish Church when a Saxon cemetery existed at what is now The Fox.
Purton’s growth continues today with two recent additions to the parish in Ridgeway Farm and Mouldon View adding a further 1000 new homes to the parish. Known as a caring community and strategically well-led under the auspices of Purton Parish Council, we decided to form a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme that embraces the whole of the Parish of Purton and to include the ‘voice’ of young people, Age Concern, Wiltshire Police including local police officers and PCSO’s and other service providers to the village.
In conjunction with the Parish Council, Purton Age Concern and The Bobby Van we were delighted with the interest shown at the NHW promotion event held on the 24thJuly when visitors to the village hall exceeded our expectations. The various organisations in attendance provided lots of information for people to take away as well as an opportunity for people to ‘sign-up’ to Purton NHW. There was also interest shown by a couple of councillors from neighbouring town and parish councils wanting to do the same in their own community’s. All round a very successful day.
At what we consider to be the start of our journey to engage more local people in community safety issues we also recognise the benefits of collaboration involving Purton NHW and Purton Parish Council as well as other stakeholder organisations that serve the people of Purton aiming to fulfil the aspiration summed up by our wonderful Parish Clerk in #PurtonCares.
Purton NHW Co-ordinator
“During the first lockdown in March 2020, a friendly neighbour started a WhatsApp group for those people isolating, vulnerable and in need. After a short time passed, we found the initiative extended beyond its original idea, it proving to be a great way to meet new people within our community as more neighbours were added to the WhatsApp group.
After a few unsavoury incidents in the local area which occurred during the early hours and were caught on residents’ CCTV, we collectively made the decision to sign up to Neighbourhood Watch. It could not have been easier, with help provided by Wiltshire NHW. We managed to leaflet homes to recruit more volunteers and along with a successful grant application from our local Parish Council we were able to purchase NHW street signs. Everyone is so pleased with them and its now so wonderful knowing who each of our neighbours are!”
Scheme Co-ordinator – Sharp Close, Winlaw Close and Bankfoot Close NHW