Pickering’s picturesque Riverside Walk has been given a face lift thanks to the help of offenders who have been sprucing up the North Yorkshire town for the past two months.
Offenders have been working across the town to enhance public open spaces and preserve and enhance key street features as part of the Community Payback scheme.
The scheme, managed by the Humberside, Lincolnshire & North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company (HLNY CRC), has involved teams of people on unpaid work orders renovating and repainting the steel railings along Pickering Beck which runs through the centre of the town.
The team, supported by local HLNY CRC payback supervisor Stephen Trotter, also cut back overhanging shrubbery, and stained and repainted fencing and street furniture in the play areas at Otter Drive and Troutbeck Close.
Stephen Trotter said: “Community Payback is a punishment for breaking the law but it is also a way for those on probation to learn new skills and to support their rehabilitation. Working on this and other similar projects across North Yorkshire means offenders not only give something back to the community but it teaches them valuable practical skills which can lead to future employment.”
Andrew Husband, Pickering Town Clerk, said the Community Payback team was a significant and valuable resource for the council. He added: “The team from HLNY CRC offer a crucial helping hand to get the job done quickly, efficiently and at no cost to tax payers. The
Community Payback team has worked with the council for several years to ensure that we can make best use of this valuable resource for the community.
The Community Payback scheme works across a wide range of projects in the community in North Yorkshire renovating community gardens, parks, church yards and schools.
Martin Davies, chief executive of HLNY CRC, said: “Community Payback schemes like the one delivered in York provide a means by which people on probation learn new skills to support their future employment prospects and can be seen to be making a positive contribution to society and the community in which they live as part of their rehabilitation.”
*The Community Payback Team in North Yorkshire would like to hear about other projects which residents think will make a real difference to their community. Contact it by emailing [email protected].