Offenders, spent more than 250 hours working to clear the site of undergrowth, rubbish and fly-tipping to restore it to its original use as a recreational facility for the local community. Total work is estimated to be worth more than £2,000 – contributing to major savings for Leeds City Council.
Community Payback in Leeds is managed by the West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) in partnership with Leeds City Council, and aims to rehabilitate offenders through working on projects that benefit the community.
Ken Denham, a former offender and experienced builder who now volunteers as a peer mentor to offenders, said: “The area around Tynwald Walk had become overgrown so the lads and lasses took more than five days to clear the area and generally make it a more attractive prospect.”
Cllr Debra Coupar, executive member for communities, said: “The work delivered by the Community Payback team in Moortown is a great example of how offenders can put something back into the community while learning important life skills.”
Andrew Evans, placement coordinator at West Yorkshire CRC, said: “Community Payback is a punishment for breaking the law but it is also a way for those on probation to learn new skills and to support their rehabilitation. Working with Ken our service users learned some important new skills which will help in their rehabilitation.”
The Community Payback scheme works across a wide range of projects in the community in West Yorkshire renovating community gardens, parks, church yards and schools.
Martin Davies, chief executive of HLNY CRC, said: “Community Payback schemes like the one delivered in Leeds provide a means by which people on probation learn new skills to support their future employment prospects and can be seen to be making a positive contribution to society and the community in which they live as part of their rehabilitation.”