“Despite the changes surrounding probation services it remains most assuring that sound and effective local partnerships like the Walled Garden have continued to flourish. “The flexibility and reliability of the Community Payback team is a significant and valuable resource for the Walled Garden. It’s a tremendous site with a variety of tasks for both skilled and unskilled offenders, making a valuable contribution to this worthwhile cause.” – Liz Rushton, Community Payback Manager, The Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company Limited.
While on site offenders carry out a variety of tasks to support this important community charity. Over the last four years the work teams have quite literally transformed the charity’s landscape. This has included rendering the walls in the old barns to make into workshops and potting sheds, re-pointing of the gardens outer walls, clearing brash, picking the seasonal fruits to sell to the public, ground work ready for planting and barrowing of sawn timber for processing into logs.
Although some offenders find this physically challenging, they are able to learn new skills and interact with social groups that they may not normally have contact with. It also gives offenders the chance to learn new skills in real situations – this style of practical learning suits many offenders much better than more traditional teaching methods and cultivates problem solving, interpersonal and employment related skills. Over the last year, about 500 offender days have given over 3,000 hours, which has directly benefited Ripon’s Walled Garden.
For the past two years, offenders on Community Payback Orders in Lincolnshire have been working at the hospitals in Lincoln, Grantham and Boston. They spend at least one day a week at each hospital litter-picking, painting, gardening, maintaining pathways and clearing snow in the winter.
The accompanying photographs show examples of the work currently being undertaken at Boston Hospital.
For over 2 years offenders have been undertaking Community Payback at St. Stephens’s school in Skipton. The work, which is carried out on Sunday when the school is closed, has seen offenders working closely with the school caretaker to maintain a safe and tidy school for the children.
The school’s headmaster Mr Peter Thompson wrote to us;
We are writing to thank the Community Payback Team for their help and support over the past two years, allowing the school community to benefit from the young men we have had working with our Caretaker, on Sundays.
They have been a great asset to the school. We have made great use of the various trades which they have brought with them – from the joiners to electricians, to the most recent being farmers. They have all been good workers.
Many people from outside the community have commented on the work they have done and how well they work.
We feel everyone is benefiting, even the young men have said they like to be able to achieve something that will help the child to have a safer and tidier school.
We hope to continue to benefit from them in the future
On behalf of the whole school we would like to say a big “thank you”.