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How to get started

How do we set up a Watch? The 7 steps guide

Step One: Understand the idea. Talk it over with friends, family and neighbours. Find and connect the knowledge and skills already in your community. Find a way for everyone in the community to know who to call when they need assistance. 

Step Two: Find your activists. If you are reading this it may be you! Can you connect with existing community volunteers or groups (such as Neighbourhood Watch, Resident Associations etc)? Are there local activity or hobby groups that could help?

Step Three:  Agree a base. This could be the local café, pub, living room or village hall. It can be anywhere you feel comfortable meeting as a group. Check with your local GP surgery to see if you could meet there, outside of surgery hours.

Step Four: Engage your local GP, Police Community Support Officer & Community Fire Officer This engagement is vital. Can you use friends of the Surgery or Patient Participation Groups? Make an appointment to discuss the scheme with your GP. Contact your local PCSO & Community Fire Prevention Officer. 

Step Five:  Find your helpers.** Talk to your neighbours, discuss the idea in the pub or community social group, ask around in existing community groups. Arrange a public meeting, advertise in the local press/parish newsletters. Put a notice in your local GP surgery and/or community hub.

**Once you have identified your helpers liaise with your local Police Community Support Officer, who will arrange for the relevant local police checks for all good neighbour volunteers (including the Coordinator).  This will help protect both the good neighbour volunteers as well as the participants of the watch**

Step Six: Engage local charities and voluntary organisations. Which charities or support groups are active in your area? Can any of them help get your Watch going? Can you help them find new volunteers from within your community?

Step Seven: Can local businesses help? Can any of your local businesses help with communication and events? Pharmacy services already provide community support. Perhaps your postman or postlady is already a trusted route of communication. Builders and other trades may already be supporting your community.