Oct 17 2014

Guest Post: Neighbourhood Champions, by Sonoo Malkani

guest_post2I had the opportunity to attend the Community Champions Conference at the KP Centre last night.Full house,once more.Great to see the stalls display what the Council and key partners have on tap for us.

Borough Commander of Harrow Police gave a detailed report of the considerable gains fighting crime by him and his team as promised a year back.Harrow is powering ahead as the safest London Borough for the sixth consecutive month.We must ensure that is maintained by supporting our police in the best possible manner.

He recognised the huge contribution made by the Neighbourhood Champions and was in favour of allowing them to do even more as suggested by Harrow Council.It is most encouraging to have the Borough Commander on the same page as the public of Harrow—wanting us to be number one in Safety.I am sure you wlil continue to follow his crime prevention tips which will now appear on line.We ALL must make our contribution and keep ourselves safen especially as we enter the Festive Season culminating with Christmas and the New Year.

I know he did not mention this but our Borough Commander(Simon Ovens)who is a practising Christian,will be holding his own Christmas Carol Concert on December 16 in the heart of Harrow,from 730pm and wishes many of our diverse communities to join in the celebrations

Venue –St John the Baptist Church—(opposite Debenhams )Sheepcote Road,,Harrow,HA12JE.We had an excellent turn-out last year and am sure can do even better this time.Show your appreciation of what your Borough Commander has achieved for you.Some of you may wish to help out.

I feel so proud that we have some wonderful people working on our behalf.Another one I would like to mention is the Borough Commander for the Fire Service in Harrow—-Richard Claydon.He really cares about our safety and spoke at some length about risks of fires –including during the fireworks nights and also in the home.he is particularly concerned about VULNERABLE and ELDERLY folk and requested us to look out for them.He displayed some graphic photos on a large screen which made these point s crystal clear.Perhaps we could have short film about our policing works at the next conference.Both these men are the salt of the earth and have gone the extra mile for which we salute them

By the way,there is a very special progarmme being held at the Fire Station tomorrow ie FRIDAY 17 October from 10am to 3pm.Please get down there and learn all you can about FIRE SAFETY .They are a small team of 20 who help keep us all safe from these hazardous and often ,life-threatening fires.Your support makes all the difference!

It was also good to hear from the Leader of the Council ,Cllr DAVID PERRY,that we would have a proper PUBLIC CONSULTATION before making the final cuts for this year and the next few as well.I dearly hope he will seriously consider the feelings of the majority of Neighbourhood Champions who do NOT want to change their names to Community Champions—-since we are already a well-known name brand in Harrow!

Also,there is a FINANCIAL implication—-all the literature will have to be re-printed thus much tax-payers monies will be needlessly lost.There are reams of literature in existence in the NEIGHBOURHOOD CHAMPIONS’ name.It may also confuse people if we re-brand unneccessarily.

It was a relief to hear we were not being forced to do more but were in fact asked what might interest us and how we might go about it.The manner in which that was proposed made it easy to digest.Most of us are already doing more and WANT TO!

I am keen we have many YOUTHS on board and was so pleased we had 71 Harrow Youth Parliament members dotted around the room.I hope on another occasion we can have them on the podium and recognise their contributions plus encourage them to sign up!Well done HYP.We are very proud of you.

The refreshments were plentiful,and good as was the venue.I am sure we could improve by displaying QUESTIONS which were read out by Cllr Sue Anderson and also the replies which were sometimes inaudible.A suggestion these might be emailed out.The written word is far more effective and stays longer in the mind,

I also felt it would be great if we could incorporate within the existing six monthly Conference an awards presentation for Best Neighbourhood Champions in various categories eg for innovative simple ideas which bring great results.A bit of healthy,friendly competition will get the juices going.You might even have special ones for YOUTHS.

Anyway,,we all have loads of ideas which we have shared with the Council and hope some of these will be taken up and implemented soon.I am sure there is much we can do to add value to this already flourishing group of volunteers.Graet work Harrovians.Let’s become the best at this too and roll it out nation-wide and Europe-wide.Yes,I sad Europe-wide.Peple from France came and filmed us at the HPCCG some years back when they hard of Neighbourhood Champions at its inception.

All in all,I belive the Conference is value for money and would deliver even more with awards incorporated.Good way to motivate folk and also thank them.I would love our YOUTHs to get a certificate which would go on their CV.Awards and certificates could be sponsored by caring members of our community,just as they do for Harrow’s Heroes Awards.

Plenty said.Thanks for an interesting evening which was worth attending.

A BIG THANK YOU to whomever this applies.Our STREET LIGHT has been switched back on since the night before last.Good to know you ARE listening and making amends.

A VERY HAPPY DIWALI TO YOU ALL.Do think of your neighbours,seniors and dear pets whilst enjoying your fire-works.Look after one another and be good!

Stay well.Stay safe.God bless Harrow.

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