Community Payback Helps Fusion Housing Make A Space For Learning
Community Payback teams in Kirklees have been working with Fusion Housing to get a new study centre ready for students who start in December.
Fusion Housing, in partnership with Kirklees College, are delivering a 30 week course specialising in catering and healthy living. The course also includes English, Maths, IT & work experience and will run until July 2014.
To provide a welcoming space for the learning, Fusion Housing wanted to improve empty offices at its Standard House base. So Community Payback teams got involved to redecorate and make sure the new classrooms, lunch area and break out rooms were fit for learning.
The teams have spent four days sprucing up the building to help Fusion with their project 'Making a space for our Learning'.
Liz Boyle from Fusion Housing was delighted with the work. She said: "The (offenders) (team) have been doing a great job. They're polite and hard working. We have really benefited from their help; I hope they've learned something from their time with us."
This is just one of many Community Payback projects in Kirklees. Visit www.westyorksprobation.org.uk to find out more about Community Payback.
Find out more about Community Payback
West Yorkshire Probation Trust
At any one time, West Yorkshire Probation Trust is responsible for the management of more than 11,000 adult offenders, approximately 5,700 on Community Orders, 2,300 on licence and 3,000 in custody.
We work with offenders in the community and in custody to tackle their offending behaviour and help them address issues that led them to commit crime. We work in partnership with a range of local organisations and are one of the top six Trusts for reducing reoffending - our reoffending rate has declined by 14% since 2005.
Our Victim Services Unit supports the victims of serious crime and domestic violence.
We are an award-winning, innovative Trust which is committed to reducing reoffending and protecting the public. In 2013 we received Investors in People Gold Award, are the only Trust in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index and won three Butler Trust Awards.
All in a Day's Work
Receptionist, Fraternal House
Reception is the first point of call for almost all offenders, staff and visitors at Fraternal House. Sarah and her colleagues work hard to ensure that everyone feels welcome, is treated with respect and that there is a smooth link between offender and offender manager.
Sarah believes people can change and is pleased to play her part and work with colleagues and partners to support offenders to turn their lives round.
An average day in an ever-changing job
On any given day, Sarah is in touch with a range of people including staff, partner agencies and offenders. Reception can be a frantic place as every person has to sign in – including staff, offenders and visitors and is particularly busy when programmes are running, or offenders arrive for Community Payback.
Getting to know you
Sarah feels she has the chance to get to know the offenders who visit regularly. For some Probation can be a lifeline as it is the first place they turn when they meet a crisis - loss of accommodation, falling out with a partner/relative or even if it’s just a bad day. Sarah and colleague, Joanna Mawdsley, listen and allow offenders to let off steam which can take the edge off their emotion. Reception staff can also reassure offenders who can be intimidated on their first appointment with Probation.
The reception team can also help to reduce reoffending – ensuring that offenders are seen punctually and passing on useful information overheard in reception to colleagues. Given time, Sarah looks at West Yorkshire Police’s ‘Caught on Camera’ web page and occasionally identifies someone she has seen as one those ‘wanted’.
The role could be intimidating as a wide range of offenders with various backgrounds pass through reception. But Sarah enjoys meeting new people and playing a part in the work of Probation. Sarah also helps to maintain the positive relationships between visitors, staff and partner agencies.
Why I come to work
- Building a rapport with offenders that you see regularly is rewarding
- Showing people respect and integrity and seeing people change - often what may sound like small changes can actually have a huge impact.
- Seeing people successfully complete their orders and getting their lives back on track
- The constant pressure of a busy reception – particularly the things that are out of your control
- Not being able to get through to an Offender Manager when an offender is waiting can be hard as the offender can become frustrated
- Seeing people - especially younger people - relapse or commit another offence
District Receptionist - Bradford