SA Police Thanks ‘neighbourly’ Volunteers

Volunteering for South Australia Police (SAPOL) has inspired many to work towards safer communities, including 101-year-old Wilfred ‘Wilf’ Taylor.

During National Volunteer Week (20-26 May), SAPOL is celebrating more than 2000 registered volunteers across eight different volunteer roles state-wide, including in public relations, role playing, the Road Safety Centre, STAR operations training, the Police Historical Society, chaplaincy, Blue Light and Neighbourhood Watch SA (NHW).

Joining Reynella Neighbourhood Watch group in 1997, Wilf enjoyed “doing his bit” for the community for almost 30 years, delivering newsletters around his block and helping to host crime prevention awareness events along the way.

Before hanging up his Reynella NHW green shirt soon after his 100th birthday, Wilf was among SAPOL’s oldest volunteers on the books. Now, he chuckled, he spends his days “keeping out of trouble”.

Despite his recent retirement, Wilf remains a dedicated NHW ambassador, and encourages others to volunteer and gain “valuable opportunities”.

“NHW gave me something to do, kept me active, allowed me to make new friends, and made me feel, in some way, I was helping my community,” he said.

“I retired in 1982 from PMG – now Australia Post – and needed something to do. Delivering newsletters was a great way to meet my neighbours and got me out of the house.”

This year’s National Volunteer Week 2024 theme is ‘Something for Everyone’ – a sentiment shared by Reynella NHW coordinator Dianne Harvey.

“It’s not a huge commitment to volunteer for NHW. Meetings are after-hours to accommodate working people, and we only meet once every three months,” she said.

“Whether you’re a mother with young children or a bit older and want to help keep an eye on what’s happening around the place, volunteering with NHW is very rewarding and we definitely encourage younger people to join.”

Meanwhile, SAPOL has a long, proud history of utilising volunteers. The Police Volunteer Program commenced in January 2010 on an initial trial basis, with 16 volunteers in public relations roles. The program rapidly expanded and is today continually evolving.

Anyone interested in SAPOL’s diverse volunteering opportunities are encouraged to contact the Volunteer Coordination Unit on (08 732 23217) or via email ([email protected]).

More information on Neighbourhood Watch SA is available via its Facebook page or SAPOL website.

Community-minded Reynella man Wilfred ‘Wilf’ Taylor encourages others to volunteer with South Australia Police after enjoying the rewards of volunteering with Neighbourhood Watch SA.

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