A Kinallen woman has been recognised for her commitment to the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme at the Justice in the Community Awards, Parliament Buildings, Stormont on November 6.
Gillian Corbett, who received the award in the highly commended section from Justice Minister David Ford, was nominated by Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership for the work she has carried across the district. Gillian beat off stiff competition from a selection of worthy volunteers.
“Banbridge Policing and Community Safety Partnership are delighted to see one of our local volunteers honoured in this way,” said Chairman of Banbridge PCSP, Councillor Junior McCrum.
Speaking of her dedication to helping people, Chairman of Banbridge District Council and PCSP Member Olive Mercer said: “Gillian has tirelessly given of her free time to initiate projects which benefit all age groups.”
Gillian was nominated for her work in establishing one of the first Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in Northern Ireland, carrying out local initiatives to improve community safety and helping other Neighbourhood Watch Schemes throughout the district to get established.
Gillian and two neighbours set up Kinallen Neighbourhood Watch, and with no external guidance the small group set to work designing signs, applying for planning permission and organising for them to be erected.
The Kinallen group’s early success meant that as the new Neighbourhood Watch Schemes were established across the district, they became the point of contact for help and advice. Gillian volunteered a huge amount of her time as she became an unofficial ambassador for Neighbourhood Watch. Her contribution and experience as a co-ordinator has helped develop a total of 18 Neighbourhood Watch groups in the Dromore area alone.
Gillian took a very proactive approach, applying for additional funding for crime prevention packs which were distributed to vulnerable members of the community. She also secured funding to establish a youth drop-in.
An active member of the Dromore Community Police Liaison Committee since 2004, Gillian rose to the position of Vice Chair in June 2005 and Chairperson in 2009. She has been instrumental in bringing to the table many local concerns such as anti-social behaviour, rural crime, burglaries and road safety. Sergeant Paul Ferguson from Dromore PSNI Neighbourhood Team said: “Gillian’s time and expertise have been given freely and have contributed to the high number of neighbourhood watch groups in the Dromore area”.