Community Payback helps flood-hit residents in Appleby, Cumbria
21 Dec 2015
Offenders sentenced to unpaid work by the courts are helping the residents of Appleby-in-Westmorland clear up the devastation caused by Storm Desmond.
The Cumbrian town has been hit by severe flooding with hundreds of homes and many businesses affected. A team of offenders has been out in force helping local people clear debris and water left behind after the River Eden burst its banks.
Known as Community Payback, these types of unpaid work projects are fully supervised by probation staff. Work has involved the clearing of Centre 67, a community centre which provides space for dance classes, theatrical performances, a cinema screen, computer facilities and a book shop.
Gary Copley, Community Payback Supervisor, says:
‘We were asked by the local council to help with the clear up and we were eager to get involved - all members of the team are from the area and one of them is from Appleby. At Centre 67 there’s been considerable damage to the main hall where the performances and dance classes are held. The team has worked hard to clear out mud from the river and salvage what they can.
‘It’s heart warming to see so many local people ‘mucking in’ and helping each other. A group of local women have been bringing hot drinks and sandwiches to those involved with the clear up. I think residents are glad to see offenders lending a hand and we’re available to do more work if required – whatever it takes to help the community recover.’
Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company welcomes nominations for unpaid work from members of the public. We can carry out a range of projects such as graffiti removal, the clearance of public spaces, landscaping work and renovating public buildings. To nominate a project, visit www.clcrc.co.uk