Neighbourhood Return

elderly man with a stick crosses the street arm in arm with a younger woman

Turn in direction for Neighbourhood Return

A pioneering pilot that coordinated volunteers to search for people with dementia who go missing, is taking a new direction. Neighbourhood Return has piloted the concept for the last 18 months across Thames Valley, Northamptonshire and Waltham Forest by recruiting volunteers to go out and search when a person in their community with dementia goes missing.

The pilot can boast many achievements with 7,000 volunteers signing up and 370 people with dementia being registered. The pilot has been ground breaking with over 48% of the volunteers never volunteering before and over 96% of the carers saying that the pilot gave them reassurance.

The pilot was initially funded by the Silver Dreams Big Lottery Fund which came to an end October 2013. Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire County Council also helped fund the pilot in their locality.

However, adequate core funding has not been secured and the pilot is due to come to an end this month.

The pilot has been a Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network project and the learning and networks made from Neighbourhood Return will go on to help develop new approaches for volunteering in relation to missing people and the 'Citizens in Policing' theme currently under consideration at a national level.

The Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network is a member on related steering groups which are being led by the Association of Chief Police Officers, College of Policing and National Crime Agency.

Volunteers who have signed up to Neighbourhood Return will receive more information about these initiatives and which will enable them to continue their involvement.

Useful information

We have produced a Frequently Asked Questions document with regards to the closure of Neighbourhood Return. This can be read and downloaded here.

You can still login to your account with Neighbourhood Return and edit you details by visiting

Neighbourhood Return Carers

Below are some useful links to organisations providing support to carers of people with dementia: - Alzheimer's Society is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. If you have concerns about Alzheimer's disease or about any other form of dementia, Alzheimer's Society National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122 can provide information, support, guidance and signposting to other appropriate organisations. - Age UK support older people to live happy and healthy lives through equal access to appropriate prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services.

Neighbourhood Return Volunteers

Although Neighbourhood Return is no longer operating, why not become a Neighbourhood Watch volunteer instead? You can find out more about how to do this by clicking here and you can find and contact your nearest Neighbourhood Watch scheme here.

Other volunteering opportunities which might be of interest are: - Dementia Friends is an Alzheimers Society initiative that aims to make your high street more dementia friendly by creating Dementia Friends in your business or organisation. - The Association of Lowland Search & Rescue (ALSAR) is the representative body of Lowland Rescue teams providing Search & Rescue support to the emergency services alongside Mountain Rescue, Cave Rescue, RNLI and others.

Our supporters

These companies and organisations are supporters of Neighbourhood and Home Watch in England and Wales.