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Surrey Community Payback project wins national award

24 March 2017

A wildlife project in Surrey which helps rehabilitate individuals who have committed crimes has won a prestigious national award.

The project has involved individuals supervised by Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company carrying out hundreds of hours of Unpaid Work in the last year, known as Community Payback, at the Colman Redland Centre in Reigate.

Thanks to the work of individuals, who have learnt useful conservation skills while building new wildlife habitats and putting up bird boxes at the project, the centre now boasts a large collection of bugs, birds, flower and flora.

They have also completed work to make the area safer and more welcoming for the Brownie groups by erecting new fencing and creating seating areas from fallen trees.

The work has won the National Offender Management Service Wildlife Award in the Community and Outreach category. The project was also judged as joint “Overall National Highly Commended”. 

Suki Binning, Chief Executive of Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company, said: “I am very proud of the team for their excellent achievement and delighted we’ve been able to contribute to the conservation of this area.”

“Last year, Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company delivered over 350,000 hours of Community Payback to worthy projects across the three counties. The value of this work is equivalent to £2 million pounds in labour at the current level of minimum wage. The projects include a wide range of services from landscaping community spaces to painting and decorating parish halls. This project at Colman Redland Centre is a fantastic example of individuals putting something back into the community at the same time as learning new skills, improving their job prospects and gaining a better understanding of the countryside.”

Tracey James, Secretary of the Colman Institute, said: “The Trustees are extremely appreciative of all the general maintenance jobs the teams have completed at the centre. Mowing the grass and mulching the cuttings, clearing gutters, painting the gate, cutting the hedges, creating new ‘natural’ hedges and building fences are jobs that are necessary but costly maintenance for a charity.”

“The work individuals on Community Payback have carried out is incredibly invaluable to the Centre, our visitors, and the community. Thanks to their efforts we are seeing lots of new wildlife in the grounds.”

Dr Phil Thomas, Head Judge of the NOMS Wildlife Award, said:  “As Head Judge and one of the founders of the NOMS Wildlife Award, I’m constantly amazed at the dedication and innovation of the wildlife applications that we judge each year, especially with regards to the buy-in from local communities and the offenders themselves, who gain valuable learning and skills from these amazing projects; and this has certainly been admirably demonstrated at the Kent Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company community project, which we as judges were suitably impressed by.”

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company will be presented with their award at an awards ceremony at HMP Kirkland on 26th May.

Photo (left to right): Sue Jeffree, Community Payback Supervisor, Margaret Skilling, Colman Trustee, Dr Phil Thomas, NOMS Judge, Paul Cooper, NOMS Judge, Rebecca Davies, Colman Trustee and local Brownie leader.
 

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