In 2006, Sandy Ibbotson started Napier Community Patrol with her husband Brooke, and Senior Constable Pete Gimblett. Now, with about 250 members, her role is a full-time volunteer job. She is also the district representative for Eastern District Community Patrols, which involves supporting patrols from Tolaga Bay to Waipukurau. While her main focus is Napier, Mrs Ibbotson is also involved in Community Patrol New Zealand (CPNZ) and patrols around the country have benefited through her advice on recruitment to retaining members.
How long have you been volunteering?
Why do you give your time freely?
It is very easy to moan about problems in our society without trying to do anything to make things better. Knowing that I, and the other NACP volunteers are working to be part of the solution is a major part of why I do this. This is my community and I love being able to contribute in a small way to making it a safer place for locals and visitors.
The rewards I get are multiple - from knowing I am helping to being part of a positive network of people who feel the same and share common goals.
Being part of NACP has also given me some very special friends and a strong sense of belonging, and it is hard to imagine life without being part of this organisation now.
What's the biggest buzz you get from it?
Working with the 250 volunteers who make up Napier Community Patrol is an amazing experience. These people give so much and expect so little in return. They come from all backgrounds and so many have achieved so much in their life and yet are still prepared to sit in a car and patrol the streets of Napier to help their community.
It is a privilege to work with them and they inspire me.
One of the other great things about being part of Napier Community Patrol is having members of the public tell us how they appreciate seeing us out and about - of course not all people appreciate seeing us but we get far more friendly waves than negative reactions.