Neighbours’ street scheme to promote community spirit

Neighbours on the Quarrendon estate in Aylesbury are being invited to band together street by street in ascheme to combat loneliness, isolation and develop a community where neighbours look out for one another.

The scheme, spearheaded by Buckinghamshire County Council, aims to recruit residents in every road and provide them with resources and free workshops to heighten awareness of issues such as doorstep crime, scams, domestic abuse and nutrition, to increase the wellbeing and safety of the community.

The Quarrendon Street Association launches at the Community Centre in Meadowcroft at 6.30pm next Tuesday (26 September), where residents can collect information and sign up to be Street Members.

Project leader Helen Cavill said research showed Quarrendon had lower than average healthy eating figures, a higher than average number of smokers, and that 20% of children were living in poverty.

And while scam and doorstep crime figures among Quarrendon’s 1,700 homes were high, the amounts scammed were low – often no more than a few hundred pounds – with a substantial number of mail, phone and email cons.

“We’d like Street Members to workwith their neighbours, building on a sense of neighbourliness, to ensure everyone in the community feels safe, valued and cared for,” said Helen.

The first workshop, on Tuesday 3 October, from 2pm to 4pm, will help residents protect themselves and their neighbours against targeted fraud – phone and mail scams, and doorstep criminals.

The County Council piloted the Street Association idea in Hughenden and, six months from its launch earlier this year, the scheme thrives in eight villages, with 60 Street Members covering 37 roads, and more than 30 attending training workshops.

Hughenden Valley Street Member Anne Smart said she introduced herself to residents in her road, who attended a neighbourhood barbecue. “Now they all know I’m on hand if needed and I think this is a good way to strengthen the community,” she said.

Anne Wight, Deputy Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: “I’m really encouraged by the way the residents in Hughenden parish have pulled together and worked so well to promote safety and wellbeing among their neighbours.

“Now there’s a great opportunity for residents in Quarrendon to band together to promote a sense of community and belonging.I want to encourage their community spirit of goodwill to make sure we hold on to a tradition of neighbourliness, and make Quarrendon a safe place for our children and families.”