Young offenders make amends by getting creative

Young offenders with the Plymouth Youth Offending Team are being given a chance to make amends for their crimes by taking part in a special community reparation project.

Reparation is a practical way to pay back the harm caused by young people who commit offences, either by directly repairing the harm caused or through constructive work to help the local community.

One of the pieces of art work.

One of the successful projects the young people are working on is a creative wood work programme. This project started by turning a disused store, which was full of old furniture in a youth centre in to a clean and tidy workshop.

The young people have made wooden works of art that they donate to a number of local charity’s one being St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth to sell at their store on the Barbican, which has so far raised £115.

Sarah Henfrey, Manager of St Luke’s Shabby Chic shop on the barbican said: “We are delighted to support these young people with their wood art projects and are also grateful for the funds we receive when we sell these products as this helps our charity to support the end of life care at St Luke’s hospice”

Young People have completed various projects across the city and some have included work with a number of schools. All the wood the young people use is surplus and donated by a number of local buildings sites and would normally go to land fill or be pulped.

Head teacher of St Peter’s RC Primary School Paul Morse said: “We as a school are delighted with the work young people have done to support us and improve the environment of our school as this benefits all of the pupils. The team have come in at weekends and cleared back paths and fences overgrown with weeds and brambles, completely removed all graffiti and repainted our early years outdoor play area and colourfully redesigned the playground markings. Most recently we have been supplied with a number of wooden planters for the school allotment space and wild flower areas which really add colour to the school grounds”.

Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and Young people said: “Projects like this are not about punishing these young people but helping them to understand the impact their behaviour has had, so they make better life choices in the future.”

The YOT are always looking for new projects, so if you think you have one that may be suitable, please contact them on 01752 306999.