New message from John Hayward-Cripps CEO of the National Neighbourhood Watch Network
”As promised with autumn fast approaching the work on finalising the 3 Year Strategic Plan is complete. It is now available on the website and will be sent out on Alert in the next few days. As you are aware it has been a truly consultative process with stakeholders, leads, co-ordinators and members all being able to input into the document from the initial workshops, seminars and finally the AGM. I would like to thank all those who have been involved and really believe it sets the direction and focus of the organisation for the next 3 years to enable the organisation to re-energise and become more relevant to more people. As you know the primary focus over the first 18 months is to support the existing associations and membership to be stronger, more consistent and able to be even more effective. Over this time and through the second 18 months the focus with shift onto growing the charity and extending our reach into areas of high crime, deprivation or need.
One of the first steps of the strategy was to review the Central Support Team which has now been completed and the team will be changing and moving to London. New posts to lead our fundraising strategy and communications likewise, will be advertised and give a clear message about our intentions and ambitions. I plan to complete the move to London in early November and will keep you all informed of progress and changes to staffing contacts etc. The existing members of the Central Support Team have been very understanding of the need to reorganise and move to London to be more centrally located with other national charities, Government departments and potential sponsors. The work involved in moving a team and office is not insignificant and the Central Support Team’s capacity will be reduced during the transition but increased as the new team settles in.
The important pieces of research work we commissioned from Nottingham Trent University and University College London (UCL) are both well underway and should be completed before the end of the year. Nottingham Trent will produce clear academic evidence of the impact on crime and other variables of belonging to a Neighbourhood Watch area compared to a similar non-watch area. UCL is working with NW members and will develop a methodology and theory of change that will enable us and local associations to measure the impact of the work of Neighbourhood Watch in the various projects and schemes that are undertaken all over England and Wales. Both of these pieces of work will help provide evidence of our work and better enable all parts of the organisation to apply for and gain funding by being more evidence based and able to prove/measure their impact and value. As you will know having an evidence base and ability to measure impact is now often a key factor in gaining funding.
In Thames Valley, the NESTA funded project focussing on supporting vulnerable older people against scams and fraud is progressing well with the project lead being recruited and the first set of volunteers identified. The project is a real example of partnership working with Neighbourhood Watch gaining funding and leading in a new and innovative project. I firmly believe this is a model for projects elsewhere in NW and is an exciting glimpse into future possibilities.”