Community Payback Charity Shop Successes
Two success stories have highlighted the positive work Surrey & Sussex Probation Trust (SSPT) does with local charities through its Community Payback scheme.
Some offenders who are sentenced to Community Payback undertake individual placements in charity shops within our communities, rather than complete their hours as part of a group.
As well as providing the shops with much-needed staffing, these placements often provide very effective work experience for offenders. Many offenders who begin their work in a charity shop as a placement continue as volunteers after they have served their punishment, with some even being offered paid employment as a result of their experience.
One Eastbourne offender, who was sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work last year for assault, was placed to work in a St Wilfreds Hospice shop. His probation officer said: "He reported feeling made to feel like a normal staff member and because of the relationship he has formed with the team he intends to do a charity parachute jump in December in aid of their charity - he reports having received £410 in sponsorship so far and hopes to persuade his employer to match any sponsorship raised.
Trish Harrington manages a British Heart Foundation shop and recently provided unpaid work placements for two offenders,
She said: I would like to thank SSPT for the first two probationers that I have had helping in my shop. One man has now finished his hours and has now become a full-time volunteer
He was very nervous about coming here but now feels that it has changed his life for the better, he has made good friends not been judged and now feels that he is ready to once more get on with his life. I feel glad that I have been partly responsible for helping him to turn his life around. I will look forward to many more probationers hopefully with equally good results.