Papakura Local Board chair Brent Catchpole says its residents are a great example of people coming together to solve their own problems, courtesy of the Orion Street Neighbourhood Support Group.
Known as one of the town’s troubled areas, residents got together with the support of the board and Neighbourhood Support, and so successful have they been that the group was named the organisation’s 2018 Champion of the Year.
“They got something better than a certificate,” Brent says. “They got the sense of pride that comes with knowing they created a safe place where people look out for each other – a community – not a street.”
Resident Baggie Sandra Tilyard, now in Sydney, knocked on doors and got the support of Tua Browne, who says there’s a reason for the group’s success. “A little bit of love goes a long way.”
Tua says Orion Street is a small street with a big heart. “We knocked on a lot of doors. It was a case of encouraging people to get out there and love their neighbours. Now the climate of fear that surrounded us has gone and people are proud to say they are part of Team Orion.
“It’s too easy to forget that there are always more good people than bad.”
Crime in the street has dropped dramatically, and there are now even more prevention initiatives in place, and the group is reaching out to nearby streets to support their efforts to form similar groups.
“We couldn’t be more proud of them,” Brent says.