The FEEL SAFE SCHEME is a Neighbourhood Watch/Police initiative, specifically designed to help vulnerable people FEEL SAFE in their own homes.
Something as simple as fitting a security light, a door chain, a spy-hole, a strong bolt on a gate, or a window lock, is enough to give an anxious person peace of mind. These are the kind of things that the Feel Safe Scheme will do for vulnerable, needy people who have a fear of crime and who feel insecure in their own homes.
The Feel Safe Scheme was started because austerity cuts meant that vulnerable people could no longer have safety and crime reduction items fitted free of charge.
This service was considered so important by NHW that it was decided to try to replicate it, and thanks to generous donations from Charitable Trusts and support from PCSOs, the scheme is thriving.
Referrals to the scheme can be made by anyone, but most referrals are made by PCSOs. Always out and about, they are in an ideal position to know of vulnerable people on their patch needing a helping hand.
A hole in a path, which tripped up a disabled young person, was mended.
Overgrown bushes limiting visibility, and behind which “someone could hide” were cut back for a nervous, elderly couple, which made them feel much more comfortable.
An elderly lady with sight problems was increasingly reluctant to climb up and down the steps to her back garden. A security light solved the problem.
Solving problems seems to sum up the role of the Feel Safe Scheme, and a security light can solve so many problems.
The first job undertaken by the scheme was for an elderly gentleman being targeted by the local youth, who banged on his windows, rattled his drain pipes and tipped over his rubbish. The onslaughts were intermittent, so could not be anticipated. It was misery for him – until a security light was fitted and his peace was restored. Troublemakers do not want to be seen. They may be recognised!!
An ex husband was making life difficult for his ex wife. He daubed black paint on her windows and filled the keyholes with super-glue. Two security lights were fitted and the woman and her children were able to live a more normal life.
The Feel Safe is a small scheme, that prides itself on carrying out LITTLE jobs, for vulnerable people which make a BIG difference to people's lives, bringing them peace of mind and a feeling of well being. Most jobs are carried out free of charge, although occasionally, a donation towards the cost may be requested.
The scheme has been running successfully for more than three years, and the Devon and Cornwall Community Watch Association intend to evaluate it so that it can be trialled in other areas.
The Feel Safe Scheme in many ways epitomises the ethos of the Neighbourhood Watch movement which can be summarised by those three old-fashioned ideals
holding out a helping hand to someone in need,
watching out for each other, and
being a good neighbour,
which are as pertinent today as they ever were, and are alive and well and living at the heart of Neighbourhood Watch.
If you know someone who is vulnerable and who needs a helping hand, please contact your local PCSO or the Watch Office and we will forward a Referral Form to you by post. Alternatively, you can download a form from the website
Phone:- 01803 218180. This number is an answering service for the Watch Office. Please leave your telephone number and someone will call you back ASAP.
Post:- Torbay Watch Office, c/o Torquay Police Station, South Street, Torquay, TQ2 5AH
Click on FSS referral to download a copy of the FSS referral form.
Here is a photo of us at the HOOKHILLS CO-OP, promoting NHW and the Feel Safe Scheme.
The Co-operative Commumity Fund in each area chooses 3 local causes to support each 6 months . 1% of sales of co-op branded goods, together with money from carrier bag sales goes to support local projects and members can choose the local cause they want to support.
The Paignton Co-operative Community fund chose us as one of their causes. This will run from May to October, and our part is to promote NHW, the Feel Safe Scheme and the Community Fund in the Co-op Stores as often as possible. We try to do this every fortnight, choosing a different store in Paignton each time.