Our community has approx 320 residential addresses including a small retirement village (40 cottages). We established a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme in October 2019 with 190 members (60% of the residents). There are many elderly residents in the village.
A flyer/leaflet of support was sent to the membership 17/18/19 March (by email) together with a request for volunteers to support those in need. Within days a volunteer group was established and flyers were hand delivered to all non-members as well, by 20th March.
We currently have a group of 29 volunteers. Support has been offered with shopping, collecting prescriptions, posting mail, walking dogs, friendly chats & general information updates. We have been able to ensure that requests for help have been fulfilled within 24 hours. We communicate with the volunteers by email group regularly.
When we get a request for help, we email the network , establish who can help and then introduce them (phone contact) to the resident to establish the "trust" factor. We are establishing a register of residents who have active on-line shopping with supermarkets and a rota register so that 1 volunteer can support multiple shopping needs.
Neighbourhood Watch is a community focused activity. COVID-19 effects everyone. In adversity, community spirit & bonding has benefited hugely. Membership is growing. The sceptics now understand what Neighbourhood Watch really stands for.
Pro-active communication of support available helps - updates delivered by email/hand-delivered fortnightly to all residents, Borough & County Councillors, Parish Council website & Notice Board. Volunteer numbers should be sufficient to cope with demand, but we are still looking for more.