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.
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