Please find below a letter from John Haywood-Cripps, CEO of National Neighbourhood Watch Network.
Dear Neighbourhood Watch Association Leads,
As we approach Christmas and the end of the year, the new Covid-19 variant is causing significant concerns and re-introduced restrictions. We really hope that your end of year events, celebrations, or activities are not unduly affected, and with precautions, you and your Coordinators can continue as planned over the next few months. We are glad we took your steer on the AGM being online again this year, as this enables all to attend without putting anyone at risk.
CHANGES TO THE KNOWLEDGE HUB REGISTRATION PROCESS
As mentioned in my last letter, we have changed the Hub’s registration process, which has led to an increase in sign-ups and a speeding up of the process. We are now on track to offer the Hub to all Coordinators by the end of the year. Feedback has been extremely positive about how easy it is to use and the quality of information for Coordinators. Please promote the Hub to your Coordinators and Association. We are very excited to be adding online training modules in the new year. If you would like to join the Hub or forward the link to your Coordinators, go to ourwatch.org.uk/knowledge-hub where you’ll see a list of the areas invited so far. If your area is on the list, you should have received a message inviting you to apply for access via the Alert system. Please check your junk mail if you haven’t yet seen it! You can also sign up directly using the link on the same page. Please note that if your area is not yet on the list, you’ll get an email in the next few weeks.
ASSOCIATION PAGES ON OUR WATCH WEBSITE
As many of you know, all Associations, that have signed our MOU, are invited to have, free of charge, up to three pages on our website that they can manage themselves. Some Associations have already taken up this offer and using their pages well, such as Sussex, Cambridgeshire, Hampshire and Isle of Wight and Northamptonshire. There are lots of benefits to having Association specific pages on the ourwatch website, including:
• Free hosting and automatic updating of website software
• Automatic reformatting of pages for smartphone and tablet use
• Neighbourhood Watch supporters will have one central website to visit to join, find their local scheme, and find out more about their local Association, providing a more united view on NW across England and Wales
• Members joining via the ourwatch website are automatically formally registered with Neighbourhood Watch and recorded on the database as such.
• No need to duplicate or update policies that already exist on the ourwatch website, ensuring Neighbourhood Watch wide policies and guidelines are consistent and kept up to date.
If you wish to find out more about this offer, please contact Deborah Waller at Deborah.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following last year’s successful campaign, the Friends Against Scams team are again running a Scamnesty (a scam mail amnesty) campaign. The campaign encourages everyone to send in any unwanted scam and nuisance mail that they receive to the National Trading Standards (NTS) Scams Team, completely free of charge. The campaign is running from 29th November until 24th December. Each week on social media will cover a different type of scam mail. There is information for the public and an address to send post to on their website at friendsagainstscams.org.uk/scamnesty. The team would appreciate your support in spreading awareness of the campaign and encouraging people to send in their scam post for investigation. Neighbourhood Watch Network is supporting this campaign. Either reshare our posts on our social channels, or for a social media pack and a series of infographics, get in touch with email@example.com.
As you know, the Neighbourhood Watch Network AGM will be held next Tuesday, 7th December, at 14.30 via Zoom. I, the Central Support Team, and the Board are all looking forward to seeing you and hearing from John Azah, from the Home Office on the Beating Crime Plan, and from our partners, Coop. You should have received the documents for the AGM (including the full agenda and the agenda for the formal part of the AGM) – if not, please contact Cheryl Spruce at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been offered local in-person Bystander Training from the charity Communities Inc , which we are trialled in a couple of Associations in January. If you would like to take up the offer of a one-day local in-person training for Coordinators on the Bystander Approach, please contact me. The training is for 20+ people and is free; however, you need to find a venue for the all-day event. It is for any active community people, such as Coordinators, who will benefit from the training and share the learning with others in their communities through conversations, contacts and networks. There is no expectation of a ‘train the trainers’ approach, only simply to spread the word, choices and tools of the bystander approach. Information on Communities Inc can be found at here – Tackling Hate Crime and Inequalities – Communities Inc. As Bystander Approach has always been at the core of Neighbourhood Watch we are hoping to develop ways of spreading the training over the next year to interested and active members and Coordinators across our network.
As the year comes to an end, I hope you all have a very enjoyable Christmas and New Year, whatever the Covid-19 situation. Thank you for all your hard work over what been a bit of a rollercoaster year with restrictions being in place, then lifted and society returning to a more usual state, and now restrictions being re-introduced. I have been hugely impressed by the amount of Neighbourhood Watch work and activities that groups and Associations have maintained throughout the year despite the restrictions. The adaptability of Neighbourhood Watch groups and Associations has been inspiring over the past 18 months. It shows the vibrancy and dedication of the Neighbourhood Watch movement. Obviously, there has been a great deal of sadness this year, with many people losing family members and friends, including Neighbourhood Watch supporters and volunteers. All our thoughts and warmest wishes go out to those bereaved through the year.
Wishing you and all your Coordinators, members and supporters the very best Christmas and New Year. I genuinely hope we can meet in person over the next year and, as always, share this letter with your Coordinators, members and partners.
CEO, Neighbourhood Watch Network