The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Rehabilitation Company (HIWCRC) works to provide rehabilitation services and support to offenders given Community Orders, Suspended Sentence Orders or those who are subject to prison sentences or licenses. They ensure that offenders not only complete their sentence but also make lasting change that benefits themselves and local communities.
The HIWCRC believes that rehabilitation is the best way to reduce re-offending and helps service users get involved with community payback initiatives that teach valuable skills while delivering local, sustainable provision to voluntary and not-for-profit organisations.
Radian’s Community Investment team recently worked in partnership with the HIWCRC to clean-up Ducklands, Bordon, with the aim to help the community not only tidy up their gardens and communal spaces but provide the HIWCRC with meaningful work for their probation service users.
The quality of neighbourhoods can have a significant impact on the health, wellbeing and happiness of residents and can influence people’s feelings of safety and security. Fly tipping, littering, vandalism and unkempt gardens can all contribute to a poor external environment; negatively impacting residents. But one-off clean-up initiatives such as this can go a long way to helping a community turn a corner and start moving in the right direction; helping communities to keep their green spaces clearer and better looked after in the future improves not only the environment but the lives of those living in them.
The work completed by the probation users with the assistance of residents and members of Radian’s Community Involvement team, turned gardens and communal outside spaces from areas filled with garden waste and rubbish into clear, clean, open space where people can socialise with each other, feel proud of where they live and enjoy their outside environment.
As a housing association we have a social imperative to invest in the environment in which people live. But for projects to have a long-lasting effect and be truly successful, we have to have the backing of, and contributions from the community. Ducklands’ residents were encouraged to take ownership of their communal and outside spaces; collecting up rubbish ready to be collected by the skip and earmarking gardens and communal areas that had become overgrown and in need of tidying up.
This initiative was a real success; partnering with the HIWCRC proved not only beneficial to the probation service users but to the community as well.
One resident said: “It’s so nice to get the help and it feels like people care,” while another said: “I am now looking forward to getting back out into the garden and enjoying the weather.”
HIWCRC’s Community Payback Co-ordinator, Jeff Harris, said: “Projects like this provide service users with meaningful work. It’s evident that residents in the past and present have enjoyed seeing improvements in their environments.
“The work carried out is always well supervised and people have been able to work-off their hours in a constructive way that lends much to these communities; tasks that are carried out enhance the residents’ wellbeing.”