A quarter of a century on from its formation, Te Puke Community Patrol is looking at new ways of doing things.

The organisation's 25th birthday, to be celebrated next month, comes when more volunteers are needed, funding sources are changing and support from a regular source is no longer available.

The organisation's last three vehicles have all been donated by Trustpower, but it is unlikely that option will be available when the next car is needed.

Secretary and acting chairwoman Jan Ward says the organisation needs to make contingency plans now.

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''We cannot leave an incoming committee with no money towards a new car,'' she says.

To get the ball rolling, a raffle is being run, with the major prize of gardening equipment and supplies coming from donations made by members.

''It's a fantastic price and it has all been donated by patrollers - we've not asked businesses for help because they get hit constantly.''

Raffle tickets will be sold outside Mitre 10, Countdown and New World and in the main shopping area at various times until the raffle is drawn on November 1.

All patrollers will also have books of tickets to sell.

Jan says the group has always paid running costs with help from donations from the community, including donations from op shops, and Kiwicoast Lions will make a donation from its Te Puke Repertory Theatre's charity night performance of its latest production, Hang on a Minute Mate.

Jan and co-ordinator Gig Green say Te Puke Community Patrols are also in desperate need of more volunteers to ensure patrols continue.

Volunteers need to be 18 or older and have a clean police record.

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Training is given and volunteers should be prepared to patrol for two hours a month, or every other month.

Patrollers are rostered in pairs and patrol times are left to the discretion of patrollers.

They do not leave the vehicle when they are patrolling, unless specifically asked to by police.

''We work in with local police,'' says Jan. ''Patrollers have a task sheet and have to say where they are going and if they saw anything, then that is then given to police and checked over.''

Gig says patrollers go around the back of businesses and to places like Te Puke Sports and Recreation Club and Landscape Rd, not just the CBD.

''They sit back taking notes on anything that looks a bit different. They are in radio
contact with police, so the police know where they are.''

Trustpower's community, communication and media manager Emily Beaton says the company no longer has as many cars available to pass on to community organisations.

''We are still offering our vehicles to community organisations but we are starting to have fewer and fewer available, which makes it tricky to provide replacements.

''We are currently in the process of donating two vehicles to other groups around the country, who have been on our waiting list for some time.

''We have also recently moved away from keeping the cars on our books. That means while we used to keep the vehicles registered under Trustpower's name, we now officially complete a change of ownership so that the vehicle is owned by the group and they are able to sell it and keep the profits as they like.''

This is something Te Puke Community Patrol did with its previous car.

Anyone wanting to find out more about volunteering can contact Jan on 021 303 323 or kisimuljan@gmail.com or Gig on 0274 306 383 or meegreen11@gmail.com
The 25th anniversary will be on October 4 at the Lyceum Club.