13 September, 2012
Older volunteers to work with Neighbourhood Policing Teams
Senior Citizens Minister Jo Goodhew is welcoming the launch of a new initiative which will help keep older people safe by linking Office for Senior Citizens Volunteer Community Coordinators (VCCs) with Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs).
“This is a fantastic initiative and one that will go a long way to help older people feel safe in their own home and help Police reach out to those who are socially isolated,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“The first VCC to be linked with an NPT is now working on the ground with Police in Naenae.”
Over the last eight months Police have established 33 NPTs in 11 districts throughout the country. These teams have been successfully linking up with government and non-government groups – along with the local community – to help address a range of local issues and ensure people can be safe and feel safe.
Now, to further support the excellent work the NPTs do, VCCs are being appointed to work alongside the teams and help identify and respond to older people’s issues within the community.
The VCCs are a network of older people who work with the Ministry of Social Development’s Office for Senior Citizens to carry out projects that enable communities to contribute to policy and service development for older people.
“By creating this connection, the VCCs can work with Police on the best way to engage with older people, and offer advice on the appropriate response,” says Mrs Goodhew.
“For example, with elder abuse or neglect, these teams can help identify an individual who needs support and then refer them to a service which can best help.”
Over the next 12 months the plan is to link more VCCs to NPTs throughout the country. Discussions are already underway with a further four NPTs.
“We need to do all we can to help support older people in the community. I’m confident that this initiative will go a long way to achieve that and make a positive difference to their lives.”