Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Offenders help clean up Cumbrian museum

A hard-working group of young offenders has made a visible difference to the grounds of a west Cumbrian museum.

Offender clean up photo
One of the Community Payback team at the museum

Two Community Payback Teams were hard at work in the grounds of Workington’s Helena Thompson Museum on Park End Road over the weekend.

They helped tidy the gardens, painted external woodwork and pressure-washed the paths – work which the Workington Heritage Group would otherwise struggle to afford.

Ian Bridge, Community Payback superviser, said: “They like doing work that’s helpful to the community. It’s good for the heritage of Workington and is work that probably wouldn’t be done any other way.”

Helena Fowler, a trustee of the Workington Heritage Group, is delighted with what has been accomplished so far.

She said: “We would never have achieved this work if the Community Payback Team had not been here. I can’t believe how much they have achieved in two days: it’s already made a visible difference.

“What a lovely group they were. I know they have done something bad but whenever I took them teas and coffees they said ‘thank you, that’s good of you.’

“One of the lads said some of his unpaid work had been horrible but that this had been great. I said ‘Make sure we don’t see you again!’

Another offender had worked on plans for some replacement steps in the grounds in his own time.

Helen said: “He had gone home and thought about it and done all this work in his own time. If that isn’t commitment and someone taking a pride in their work I don’t know what is. You wouldn’t get that from some people in paid employment.

“One of the things the Scheme intends to do is going to identify the people with an interest in gardening and put them through an NVQ qualification.

“They could take over the garden as a project, replant it historically, tidy it up and keep it that way. If they are not working then it might help get them into work.”


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