Turn in direction for Neighbourhood Return

16 April 2014

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.

More information can be found here.