‘Let’s Get Together’ with Community Payback

‘Let’s Get Together’ with Community Payback image

Service users on Community Payback have been praised for helping Let’s Get Together – when the residents of Batley and Spen, West Yorkshire came together in a display of unity during a sun-soaked event for the Great Get Together in memory of late Labour MP Jo Cox.

During the weekend she would have turned 44, more than 121,980 social gatherings took place across the country, with flagship events in Batley and Spen going ahead.

Community Payback in West Yorkshire is managed by the West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company (HLNY CRC) and aims to rehabilitate offenders through working on projects, nominated by members of the public, that benefit the community.

Community payback teams under supervision of Dean Ellis, Director of Envisage Arts CIC based in Batley by building a large barbecue for the chefs to cook hot food for around 200 visitors and invited guests. They also assembled picnic benches and prepared the site for a large marquee to be erected.

During the opening speech Feroz Khan of the Hamm-Damm foundation spoke highly of the hard work and dedication of the community payback teams that have worked at the garden.

Other guests included Tracy Brabin MP and Kirklees Mayor Gwen Lowe who during her speech told how she had approached Dean Ellis of Envisage Arts CIC some three years earlier to give help in erecting a large industrial size polytunnel at the allotment.

The Mayor also noted that unpaid workers had now erected two polytunnels, a new store shed and have been laying wheelchair accessible block paving footpaths around the site.

Guests and visitors including Dean and some unpaid workers tucked in to the freshly cooked hot food and vegetables that had been grown by volunteers on the allotment.

This is an ongoing project that Envisage Arts CIC and the Community Payback teams will continue to support.

During the weekend she would have turned 44, more than 121,980 social gatherings took place across the country, with flagship events in Batley and Spen going ahead.

Reverend Mark Umpleby, of All Saints Church, said: “I think the Great Get Together is just a wonderful opportunity for people to meet friends and strangers, and for those strangers to become friends. It allows different people from different communities to meet together and just have a good time, but also break down some of those barriers of not understanding each other sometimes.”

*The Community Payback Team in West Yorkshire would like to hear about other projects which residents think will make a real difference to their community. Nominate a project for Community Payback.