Offenders Pay Community Back With Housing Estate Revamp
Published by Ashley M for Helena Partnerships in Communities
The Merseyside Probation Trust Community Payback team at work on Helena's Four Acre estate
The physical environment on a Helena Partnerships estate is being overhauled in time for summer thanks to a Community Payback scheme from Merseyside Probation Trust.
A group of local offenders will spend the next three months weeding, pruning, painting and removing graffiti on the Four Acre estate in St Helens, under the Trust’s supervision, as they pay the community back for the crimes they have committed.
Offenders taking part in Community Payback across Merseyside give unpaid labour worth £1.5 million every year, spending over quarter of a million hours on tasks ranging from repairing and redecorating community centres to environmental projects. The scheme aims to help break down barriers between offenders and local communities and encourage participants to learn new skills.
Neil Fairhurst, Senior Neighbourhood Manager at Helena Partnerships, said: “The Community Payback team are a few weeks in to the project on Four Acre and we’re already seeing great results, with alleyways and other areas now clear of weeds and debris.
“There’s been a positive attitude among those involved and we’re looking forward to watching the progress of their work over the summer.”
Cathy Aubrey, Partnership and Interagency Manager at Merseyside Probation Trust, said: "This is just the start of a long term unpaid work project on the estate in partnership with Helena, the re:new neighbourhood management initiative, Merseyside Police and St Helens Council.
“Local offenders will be seen to be making reparation for their crimes and it will also encourage a sense of ownership and respect.
“The project will help to develop the positive contribution already made by the Safer Communities Initiative on Four Acre in reducing worklessness, anti-social behaviour and crime."