A pioneering scheme which searches for missing people with memory problems is hoping to reach 100 Banbury volunteers before Christmas.
Neighbourhood Return is a community response system – first piloted in Deddington – which coordinates volunteers to look for missing people with problems such as dementia.
At the moment, 98 people in the town have signed up to the scheme to support 21 registered people with memory problems.
Volunteers get a text message, e-mail, or phone call when someone living near them is reported missing and they simply reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether they are available to search.
Volunteer Ina Bakker, who signed up to the scheme after reading about it in the Banbury Guardian in May this year, found a missing person the very first time she was called.
She received a text when she was at Banbury Canal Day in October that 69-year-old Danny Allgood, also from Banbury, was missing.
Within a couple of hours she managed to locate Mr Allgood, who suffers from dementia, and he was safely returned home to his wife Sandie by police.
Mrs Bakker said: “The coordination is just absolutely fantastic and there is no commitment.
“People who register those they care for will also get tremendous piece of mind.“
Sandie Allgood said: “It’s just an absolutely fantastic service and so quick and well-organised.
“It’s such a good idea as it spares vital police resources as well – they were great when they brought Danny home, but they have got so much else to deal with.”
To sign up, go to ourturn.org.uk or call 0116 229 3118.