In early 1989 a group of Gawler East community members met in Gawler Town Hall to discuss their Adelaide Hills suburb. As proactive and caring individuals, they dreamed of a connected, safe and proud area. Quickly two small but determined Neighbourhood Watch SA (NHW) groups formed - Gawler East 111 and Gawler East 112.
The NHW gave the groups an identity that enabled them to make positive change to their local community. It provided a means to connect, with monthly meetings and a police liaison officer on hand.
Area Coordinator of group 111, Trevor Bellchambers said they started out small but always had big plans.
“Initially our task was to develop an identity in our area and get neighbours talking and looking out for each other.
“We have since developed into a group seeking ways to serve our community by working to have improvements made to this area and our environment”.
The District 111 group, now it its 33rd year, may only have eight current members but they have a long list of impressive achievements. Mr Bellchambers outlines their feats.
“Our first major neighbourhood project was the house numbering on the kerb of all buildings in our area. We saw this as a critical activity as one of my neighbours died before medical attention arrived as the ambulance could not find his location.
“We have also made security card holders available so people are able to protect their precious bank cards in their wallets. We held a day during Crime Prevention Week at Bunnings to promote these cards and made them available to the public.
“We are preparing to street mark the numbers on the kerb of all buildings in our Area 111 as there are newly kerbed streets that have no marked numbers. We have the support of all Emergency Services and the local Council for this project. We believe it could save lives.”
Mr Bellchambers, a retired school principal and founding group member of 111 said that they’d love to expand the group to allow them to work on more or bigger projects. They want to strengthen their efforts to make Gawler East a safer and happier community.
“We are a small band of concerned citizens and friends who meet briefly on the first Tuesday of each month (except January) in the Gawler East Primary School library at 7:30pm.
“We have a police liaison officer, Senior Constable Randal Murch, who attends our meetings and strongly supports us. He gives a local police report so we know what to look out for each month and can have a think about what we can do to support the district against common crimes.”
“Please consider joining our group and working with us. We welcome ideas from any member of the community.”
Senior Constable Randal Murch, who works in the Barossa Crime Prevention Section, and has been working with the group for 9 years is fully supportive.
"It is an honour to be involved with such a proactive and successful group. Trevor and his members have contributed enormously to their local area, and continue to promote and support NHW. They all have a shared interest in creating a safe and connected community."
If you would like more information about joining Gawler East NHW please contact Trevor Bellchambers on 0414 397 737 or email email@example.com.
PHOTO: Nick Hopton
If you’re interested in joining the Neighbourhood Watch SA find your nearest group here and get in touch! If you can’t find a suitable group you could consider starting your own, find out how to start a new group here.
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