Members’ Stories

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.

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.

Jim Reid

Purton NHW Co-ordinator      

Abbie’s Story

“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!”

Abbie Dart
Scheme Co-ordinator – Sharp Close, Winlaw Close and Bankfoot Close NHW