The Bobby Van

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The Bobby Van -Local Charity

The WiltshireBobby Van TrustRegistered Charity No. 1073127


Email:  w  Tel: 01225 794652  w  Fax: 01225 794767

The Bobby Van is a great charity which has been used by a number of residents in Berwick. If you can please support this worthwhile cause


The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust

*  Summary  *

The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust provides a free of charge home security service for elderly, disabled and disadvantaged people in Wiltshire and Swindon who are at particular risk of burglary, have been a victim of house crime, or are subject to aggressive behaviour from family members or ex partners.


Referrals come from Wiltshire Police (mandatory in cases involving victims over the age of 60), Age Concern, Social Services, Anchor Staying Put, and others who recognise the important work we do to protect the vulnerable.  After a burglary, we fix forced entry points and strengthen properties from repeat attack.  Homeowners are advised how to improve home protection and offered guidance on deterring doorstep callers and distraction thieves.


The Trust endeavours to make its work proactive, strengthening homes against intrusion in the first place and encouraging susceptible people to be visitor-aware.  Although responding to burglary incidents takes precedence, we carry out free home security assessments for any homeowner in Wiltshire and Swindon over the age of 60 who requests one.  It’s often the case we are asked to visit homes of the elderly when a spouse has died and a person has to adjust to living alone for the first time, in an especially frail emotional state.


In partnership with Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service, the Trust also carries out fire risk assessments and discusses fire safety and emergency exit strategies with clients.  Smoke detectors are fitted or replaced.


We work with district councils operating the Sanctuary Scheme to improve security in homes where an aggressor is likely to make an unwelcome visit, such as when an abusive relationship has ended but the dominating partner keeps coming round to cause trouble.  In extreme circumstances, the Trust installs a safe room strong enough to withstand force until the police arrive after being called from a dedicated telephone line inside.  Having an immediate ‘bolt-hole’ to run to if a difficult situation occurs gives enormous relief to people living in fear.  This reduces the need for families to move house away from violent ex-partners and prevents disruption on the lives and education of affected children.


Bobby operators are skilled carpenters, lockfitters and trained crime reduction officers, experienced in taking practical steps to secure properties taking into consideration the individual requirements and physical limitations of each client.  Our three operators drive highly-equipped transit vans, visiting a total of 1,200 clients each year, installing security fittings such as door and window locks, door chains, mirrors and viewers.


We assist people with limited mobility who cannot get to their front door without difficulty by offering a key safe to enable known carers to access a house themselves.  We can also install motion-triggered gadgets which give an audible reminder to check that callers are known before opening the front door, or to prompt the homeowner to ensure all doors are locked and heating appliances are turned off before they go to bed at night.


The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust was the first of its kind to be set up in the UK and its success prompted the introduction of similar projects around the country.  We receive little government funding and constantly strive to raise funds by applying for grants and running a programme of fundraising events such as themed balls, prize raffles, cookery evenings, garden events, clay shoots, clothes and jewellery sales, sponsored runs and quiz nights.  All support given to The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust by individuals, councils and charitable trusts is highly appreciated and acknowledged where appropriate.


In 2008 The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust celebrated its tenth anniversary with a party attended by our patron, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, delighted to reinforce her ongoing enthusiastic encouragement.


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