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Offenders get to work on rusty railings

A TEAM of offenders sentenced to Community Payback have been giving a new lease of life to a part of Stafford.

Eight people in the Stafford Community Payback scheme, run by Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust, have been busy sanding down and repainting rusty railings that surround a housing estate in Rickerscote.

Stafford and Rural Homes (SARH) has provided the paint for the work to be carried out.

Sharon Thomas, Neighbourhood Services Officer for SARH, said: “We are delighted to support the scheme and this project is a great way for those in the Community Payback programme to make a positive contribution to the local community.

Each offender carries out six-and-a-half hours of work on the railings every week and the project is expected to be completed in the late autumn.

Rebecca Pedley, Stafford Placement Officer for Staffordshire & West Midlands Probation Trust, said: “This is a brilliant example of partnership working. The team are doing work that directly improves local communities. Many residents have already commented on how much the work has improved the local area. This is Justice seen Justice done at its best.”

An offender working on the project said: “We have been helping at St Peters Church across the road for two months and have found the work there to be very rewarding as a lot of the local community use the Church. The opportunity to do further work on the railings opposite is another way of us helping the community.”

Across Staffordshire and the West Midlands, over 580,000 hours of Community Payback are completed every year by over 4,000 people on a community sentence. This equates to over three million pounds’ worth of free labour provided to local communities as those in the scheme pay back for the crimes they have committed.

To nominate a Community Payback project, go to www.SWMprobation.gov.uk

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