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Women-only Community Payback project launches

20 June 2016

A new Community Payback project that will help women on probation to complete their court sentence starts in Surrey this month.

Working with Waverley Borough Council, women-only groups supervised by Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC), will tend to gardens of vulnerable residents who live in social housing.

Emma Vecchiolla, our Head of Service for Community Payback, explains the importance of a female-only project: ‘We are really pleased to be working with Waverley Borough Council to help us meet the complex needs of our female service users. Women-only settings are important to provide a safe environment and help women to be compliant with their court orders. Many of our service users have been victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence, so placing them in groups with male service users can be a barrier to their completion and can make them disengage with probation because they feel marginalised and disempowered.’

Kate Douglas, Community Development Officer for Waverley Borough Council, said: ‘The project will be a great help to the 20 tenants we have identified as not being able to tend to the gardens themselves and have no means to pay for a gardener. The group of workers will provide help on an ongoing monthly basis.’

Unpaid Work (known as Community Payback) is a sentence available to courts and is intended as both a punishment and means by which someone can make amends to the community for the harm they have caused.

As part of KSS CRC’s Community Payback Placement Strategy, we are committed to offering the option of women-only settings for Community Payback work and are seeking other suitable projects across Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

These can be team projects for a small group of women or individual placements. Examples might be placements in women’s centres, cafes or community services that are targeted at women or have times when only women are on site. Opportunities that include – or offer the potential to include – child-care arrangements are particularly helpful.

If you are an organisation with a women-only Community Payback opportunity, please get in touch here.

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