Two Community Rehabilitation Companies have mobilised 28 staff and a dozen vans across the region to transport food and essential goods to the elderly and people self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interserve runs five Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC) that provide rehabilitative services to 25 per cent of low and medium risk offenders across England.
The West Yorkshire CRC (WY CRC) and Humberside, Lincolnshire and North Yorkshire CRC (HLNY CRC) have joined the response to COVID-19.
Following the coronavirus outbreak and in order to comply with NHS and government guidance, Community Payback delivery has been suspended while social distancing measures are in effect. This means the delivery of unpaid work sentences made by the courts has paused, therefore the probation colleagues who run Community Payback and the vans that they take groups out in are temporarily not in use.
Community Payback is a sentence made by the courts to punish offenders for the crime they have committed. Sentences vary from 40 hours through to 300 hours and tasks people complete range from maintaining churchyards and green spaces through to carrying out projects nominated by the community and supporting the charitable sector.
Lucy Henderson, Community Director for Community Payback for both of the CRCs, said: “A key aim of Community Payback is that local communities benefit directly from the work that we do.
“We’re proud to be working alongside our Community Safety Partners, Local Authorities and Community Groups to ensure that vital supplies and provisions reach the vulnerable and those in need of support during this challenging time.
“We already have excellent relationships with community groups across our region and so it was a logical step to help organisations to supply goods to the people who need it most.”
As well as delivering food and supplies, HNLY and WY CRCs’ teams are also delivering Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) to healthcare agencies.
Paul Sturton, HLNY CRC’s Community Payback manager, said: “This week we have had 18 vans out on the roads which have covered more than 2,000 miles.
“Work has included delivery of more than 50 parcels of food in partnership with AGE UK to elderly members of the community across Lincolnshire.
“Our team has also delivered PPE to frontline health care staff in London, Bedfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.”
Interserve’s transportation group supported the initiative, which has now been rolled out to all of the company’s CRCs.