Offenders help memorial garden blossom

Offenders help memorial garden blossom image

Offenders carrying out Community Payback have been praised for the work they have done to ensure the Nicholson Memorial Garden blossoms.

Teams of up to eight people sentenced to unpaid work orders supervised by the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIOW CRC) have been carrying out a range of tasks at the garden for the past two years.

The Nicholson United Reformed Church owns the garden and adjacent community hall.

People on Community Payback have undertaken extensive ground maintenance tasks, including: mowing, strimming and weeding. They have also painted and decorated the hall, including: varnishing tables and chairs, painting the kitchen area, toilets and external painting of the building including gates and fencing.

Reverend Helen Higgin-Botham said: “Community Payback does a brilliant job.

“I get lots of comments from people using the facilities saying how lovely the grounds look and the community hall. It is used by many different organisations including the Alverstoke Evangelical Church, and the feedback is always excellent.”

Frankie, who is on Community Payback, said: “I have been coming here for several months and enjoy making the garden areas look nice.”

Jeff Harris, HIOW CRC’s Community Payback coordinator, said: “Community Payback is a sentence made by the courts for people who have broken the law, but it is also a way in which people can give back.

“I am delighted that so many people who use the Memorial Garden and hall are pleased with the effort that people on unpaid work have put in. Our service users can be proud of the job they have done.”