Allotment owners in York have praised offenders working on a Community Payback project to help refurbish the gardens on a key community facility in Heworth.
Hempland Lane Allotments Society recently requested the help of Humberside, Lincolnshire & North Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company (HLNY CRC) to carry out a Community Payback project on the allotments.
Offenders, spent several weekends at the allotments working to clear the site of undergrowth, tidying up un-used plots, so they can be re-let and management of the community wildlife area.
They also helped clear out the allotment’s ‘easy-access’ bed area for tenants who cannot physically under take the work themselves and community vegetable plots which supplies food to the society’s shop.
Community Payback in York is managed by HLNY CRC in partnership with several organisations including City of York Council, and aims to rehabilitate offenders through working on projects that benefit the community.
Gayle Farrington, Hempland Lane Allotments Society chair, said: “The payback team did a fantastic job. So much so that when I entered the site to say thank you I just welled up with relief and happiness.
“The team then realised how much this meant to us and suddenly grown men were wiping tears from their eyes too. They arrived feeling they were being punished and they left feeling tired but with a sense of pride in what they had achieved.
“Their work is a great example of how offenders can put something back into the community while learning important life skills. Our tenants have been full of praise for the work they did”
“Their work is a great example of how offenders can put something back into the community while learning important life skills. Our tenants have been full of praise for the work they did.”
Chris Long, placement coordinator at HLNY CRC, 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. The team have learned some important new skills which will help in their rehabilitation.”
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.
*The Community Payback Team at HLNY CRC would like to hear about other projects which residents think will make a real difference to their community. You can nominate project here.