StreetSafe Blog

Working together for a stronger community…

Neighbourhood Watch Swap…..

Posted by StreetSafe on September 27, 2010

You’ve heard of wife swap, now we want to start a Watch swap!!! Well….actually we don’t want to swap watches….we want to swap ideas but I thought that would grab your attention!

In Barrow we have a number of Neighbourhood Watch groups and Community groups that all do fantastic work on a daily basis. About a year ago representatives from many of these groups started coming together once every 3 months or so for a coffee and a chat. These meeting shave grown and more and more groups are joining all the time. We have started to call the group Bringing Communities Together (it seemed a little snappier than ‘Neighbourhood Watch and Community groups 3-monthly get together!)

We make no difference between groups that are fully affiliated neighbourhood watches and those that are community groups. Even those groups who are very informal are welcome to come along, find out what everyone else is doing and work together to share and find solutions.

The group is driven by a local neighbourhood watch co-ordinator from the Fife Street group. His name is Pete Thomas and he has been dong this for a lot longer than I have been in my current role. He is the driving force and, along with other members of the community, they organise the meetings, invite speakers, follow up on attendees and generally do all the running around needed to make things work. If and when the group needs any help, myself and other people from local agencies do our very best… that providing a room and refreshments, going along to meetings to provide support or information, or anything else the local community ask us to do!

Now the point of this communication…….the group work together well and are always coming up with new ideas and ways of working. What they have wanted for a while is to go and visit a neighbourhood watch or community group in another area to see how things work there. Are you that group? Do things work well where you are? Would you be willing to support a visit from us in sunny Barrow? We want to share and swap ideas with you!

We are looking to visit somewhere within a travelling distance of around 2-3 hours. If you are further afield we still want to here form you. Maybe we could exchange ideas by e-mail or via video conferencing! We are getting rather technical around here!!

If you would be willing to show us around your area and tell us about how you do things we would love to come and visit. Please get in touch in one of the following ways:

Rebecca Rawlings, Co-ordinator of Barrow CDRP, 242-244 Dalton Road, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. LA14 1PN. Phone: 01229 876475 or 07747446234. E-mail:

Pete Thomas, Co-ordinator of Fife Street Neighbourhood Watch, 6 Fife Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. LA13 9BU. Phone: 01229 832136.

‘Our Sunset’ courtesy of Rosie Hillman

I should also say in conclusion that we would love to show you what goes on here…so if you are interested in doing a proper swap….you come here and we visit there…..get in touch!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards, Rebecca and Pete


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