Hannah Glover has taken over the reins as community engagement officer for Neighbourhood Support Cambridge, moving into the role after spending the past three years on the front line of Violence Free Waipa.
She becomes the third person in the Neighbourhood Support role; the first was Judi Smythe, known for her association with the group’s mascot Ruru the owl, and the second was Deb Stinson, a systems-whiz who ensured the group remained technology-savvy.
The part-time position will enable Hannah to use skills she honed both before and during her time at Violence Free Waipa. Prior to joining that organisation, she trained and worked in the sport and recreation industry and had a spell as a full-time mum.
She is excited now, she said, to be continuing in a different role with a similar focus on creating a safe community.
“I see myself as maintaining what has already been set up by Judi and Deb, and hopefully fill any gaps. It is important to identify what is needed in terms of Cambridge’s growth,” she said. “A key part of that is the database containing all the names of those belonging to Neighbourhood Support.”
There are currently over 3000 members on the database – covering residential urban and rural, business and commercial. It was important, Hannah said, to grow those numbers to reflect population growth: “I’m looking forward to doing that, aided by the connections I have made over the past three years with like-minded community people.”
Neighbourhood Support Cambridge is overseen by the Cambridge Safer Community Trust, a not-for-profit organisation funded by community donations and business sponsorship and geared to making Cambridge’s residential, business, and industrial areas safer.
Neighbourhood Support works closely with police and civil defence and operates community patrols throughout the streets during the hours of darkness. There are currently over 30 volunteers involved in those patrols.
Welcoming Hannah to her new role – and her new office at 2 Fort St last week – was Cambridge Safer Communities Trust chairman, Ian Hughes.
He said the Trust, established by the Cambridge Community Board and police 12 years ago, came into being to help the community respond to changing needs using a multi-agency approach, rather than funnelling problems through a single agency or group.
“It is so much more than just neighbourhood watch – it is neighbourhood support in its broader sense. It reflects the old-fashioned values of looking after one-another,” he said.
Those keen to find out about existing neighbourhood support groups – or wanting to form new groups – should contact Hannah on 827 6172 or 021 123 6547 – or email her at [email protected]