An enterprising housewife, who has given a neighbourhood watch scheme a new lease of life and helped to slash crime figures, has been presented with a national award.
Gillian Atkinson was presented with the Innovation award at the National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Awards in London. The accolade was for all the work Gillian has put into the Brunshaw Neighbourhood Watch as head co-ordinator since she became involved with it in 2009. The growing proactivity of Brunshaw Neighbourhood Watch has encouraged neighbours to get to know and trust each other and crime rates in the area are now at an all time low.
She said: “I feel honoured to accept this award but the neighbourhood watch scheme is very much a team effort. It is good to come up with new ideas but people have to take them on board for them to be successful and this is what has happened with us.’’
Gillian’s vision was to empower people to help each other and become proud of and protect their homes and the community where they live. She established a youth news team who film local events and produce videos for the scheme’s new website. It was Gillian who applied for the funding and training needed to use the equipment and this encouraged more adults to get behind the camera.
The scheme now covers 80 households with six co-ordinators but Gillian, of Coleshill Avenue, would like to see every home in the Brunshaw area involved.
She said: “It is all about people getting to know each other by sharing experiences, trying something new and doing something they enjoy that brings a community together.’’
Gillian paid tribute to fellow co-ordinator Judith Hindle, PC Janet Cowley and Coun. Linda White, for their help and support.
Judith, who nominated Gillian for the award, said: “What a terrific achievement, Gillian has worked so hard and she is putting Burnley on the map.’’