Letter of gratitude from Community Payback service user

COMMUNITY Payback service user Richard* has been so impressed by the opportunity that Community Payback gave him that he felt moved to write to probation to thank them.

Richard is half way through completing 100 unpaid work hours after being sentenced to unpaid work for malicious wounding in September.

Community Payback (CP) is managed by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC). Offenders are given unpaid work hours by the courts to complete as reparation for their offences.

Richard has attended a variety of placements and especially enjoyed working at a Mencap home in Milton, Portsmouth, where he joined in with a full garden tidy, hedge cut, weed and general tidy to the home.

Richard wrote: “After we had completed the work I felt a very strong sense of achievement and fulfilment that we had genuinely given something back to the community for people that obviously have a very tough time in life. It was very satisfying to know that they could now enjoy their garden and use it as an escape from everyday life.”

He also commented about the CP supervisors: “They are all very pleasant individuals that don’t judge people and treat everyone as equals and with respect.”

Jeff Harris, HIOW CRC Community Payback Placement Co-ordinator said: “Placing service users in new environments, and working for the benefit of local organisations helps to widen their experience.”

All Community Payback projects combine hard work and the chance for the participant to develop skills. It is also a punishment as the individuals give up their time to carry out the work. Community Payback must include a minimum of a day’s work – lasting at least seven hours – once a week.

*Name has been changed.