Over the past two years, the adoption of OurHood in the Parkmore community in Johannesburg has more than doubled, making it one of the fastest growing neighbourhoods on OurHood.

This is a result of the active local partner, the Parkmore Community Association (PCA), who acts as a leader in their efforts to strengthen communication and collaboration between neighbours.

Parkmore and OurHood

After seeing the success of OurHood in neighbouring suburb, Sunninghill, the PCA decided to adopt the platform as their neighbourhood communication channel and has been focused on moving all their communication to OurHood.

Kate Wardle of the PCA said: “I initially heard of OurHood through Sunninghill – then met up with Bruce (OurHood director). I knew of his Name Your Hood work in Cape Town.

“We are still working hard to get more residents on board – the key benefit will be slowing down the chatter on Whatsapp and being able to reach people more efficiently.”

The PCA is a Non-Profit Company, established 29 years ago, with a mandate to represent the residents of Parkmore.

“We have a 6 P strategy – focusing on Protect, Parks, Planning, People, Potholes (civic matters) and PluggedIn (fibre),” Kate said.

The PCA, voluntarily run by residents, has the support of about 55% of the community with 600 members and just over 500 of these members participating in the security initiative.

Safety and Security

Security is the biggest focus in Parkmore, said Kate, and the PCA’s resources predominately go towards safety and security.

“Effective communication is key for security – and this is very important in Johannesburg particularly. If you empower people and educate them about crime trends, make their aware of how to be vigilant without terrifying them, you create a sense of community that fosters community responsibility.

“This obviously extends beyond security to recommendations for service providers, lost pets and events,” Kate said.

 

Neighbourhood Communication

This need for communication is what influenced the PCA’s decision to join OurHood.

OurHood’s customisable and range of notifications, such as push, email and SMS, is a huge benefit for the PCA as the currently limitations with newsletters or Facebook and Whatsapp hinders some of the communication efforts.

The PCA uses OurHood to share safety security alerts, important neighbourhood information and advertise events.

They also use OurHood to garner support and comment from residents on local issues and have even run a competition on OurHood where residents could help their domestic helpers get their driver’s license.

The PCA ha a solid base of support from the SAPS, City departments, other residents associations in the area and local businesses.

“Together with regular and consistent communication to members, has resulted in key ‘wins’ such as gating the suburb two years ago, which was achieved through volunteer committees with the implementation supported by the PCA. This has radically reduced our crime – by as much as 50% for contact crimes,” Kate said.

Are you a part of a local organisation such as a neighbourhood watch or civic association? Contact [email protected] for a free, private and secure online communication service that can improve the way you talk to your residents.

Your friendly neighbours at OurHood

Connecting Neighbours, Strengthening Communities