Youths transform allotments
Published by Neil Shaefer for Broadacres in Communities and also in Housing
Young offenders and staff from the Youth Justice Service
Young offenders ordered by the courts to repay their debt to society are helping to transform an overgrown allotment site in a North Yorkshire village.
Under the supervision of the North Yorkshire Youth Justice Service, the young people aged 14 to 17 have been working on allotments owned by Broadacres Housing Association just off Main Street in Topcliffe, near Thirsk.
Due to under-use, the allotments had become overgrown, but thanks to the efforts of four youths they have now been transformed. This has included cutting hedges/bushes, removing weeds and debris and cutting the grass,
Christine Norman, Broadacres Housing Officer for the Topcliffe area: “We are delighted that this partnership with the Youth Justice Service has resulted in the allotments being tidied up and they now look fantastic.
“People were being put off renting an allotment due to the state of the site but they are now much more attractive and we hope this will lead to more people taking a plot.
“The Youth Justice Service are going to continue maintaining vacant plots for us and we have giving them a plot free of charge to thank them for the work they have done.
“The fact these young people are trying to turn their lives around and do something meaningful for the community is very inspirational.”
Dave McKenzie-Brown, Reparation Officer for the North Yorkshire Youth Justice Service, said: “The four youths who carried out the work committed low level offences and were ordered by the courts to undertake work in the community to repay the damage they have caused by their offending.
“They have shown a great worth ethic whilst learning skills that may enhance their future employment prospects and hopefully this positive experience will reduce the risk of them reoffending in the future.”
This is part of a number of reparations projects that the Broadacres Customer Involvement Team – Emily Thomas, Chris Norlund and Andrew Gledhill, are working on with the YJS across the areas where it has homes.