Altogether Safer Category 2014

This category was sponsored by Ron Hogg, County Durham Police & Crime Commissioner in 2014.  In the clip below, Ron Hogg explains why he was keen to sponsor this award.

The Category winner was Theresa Groden.  The runners up were Betty Wood and Ken Robson. Read about their achievements below:

  Theresa Groden  WINNER

From Sacriston, Theresa has been nominated by Cestria Housing for the considerable volunteering that she has done in her local community. On her own initiative, Theresa approached Cestria with a list of activities that she would like to see in the community house on her estate.  This led to Theresa and her partner developing the Top House Community Project into a family place for all. She has started Bingo sessions, youth clubs, coffee mornings, a Tiger Club for children, football tournaments and nature walks, amongst many others. The children and young people of the estate are now delighted to have somewhere safe to go. Theresa’s volunteering now encompasses intergenerational work, with young and old attending coffee mornings and bingo sessions. A real feeling of community spirit now permeates the estate reducing the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour.

  Betty Wood  RUNNER UP

Betty has been a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator for her village of Howden le Wear for over 16 years.  She has taken on the role with determination and enthusiasm, recruiting new members, offering support and bringing together partners and agencies as she chairs the monthly Police And Communities Together meeting. Every community event will see Betty there with her Neighbourhood Watch Display, informing and involving others. Betty has inspired confidence in her community in their ability to tackle problems affecting their quality of life and safety. Crime and anti-social behaviour figures have significantly improved.

  Ken Robson  RUNNER UP

After putting himself forward in 2011 as a Neighbourhood Watch Street Co-ordinator in Newton Aycliffe, the scheme has developed to encompass his entire estate of one thousand homes and renamed themselves ACORN. Following on from this, a Residents Association that came out of the scheme helps to create not only a safe community, but one that encapsulates all of the other qualities of a good living environment. Ken has organised picnics in the park  with sports, games and family activities. He has acquired a pavement gritting machine for use in bad weather, and has started Little Acorns, a group for local children. Ken and ACORN have never held back from controversy or from handling difficult issues. He has identified and championed the voice of the whole community. His nominator says of Ken “His strongest characteristic is his sheer determination."