New justice services workshop facility opens its doors in South Ayrshire
On Friday 30 June, South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership (H&SCP) marked the official opening of their new Justice Services Workshop with an open day for staff, partners and the community to take a tour of the new facility.
The building which is located on Viewfield Road in Ayr features a large open plan workshop space as well as an office space and several private interview rooms. The new workshop is a new resource to help people fulfil Community Payback Orders.
Linda Semple, Chair of the Integration Joint Board said, “This facility is an incredible asset to our community. Having a dedicated space for this work opens up new opportunities to complete meaningful work both for people completing Community Payback Orders but also to the wider community who can benefit from the projects being run here.”
“An important part of Community Payback Orders is to help break the chain of re-offending, being able to learn a new skill, make real connections and being able to see a positive output from the work can make a real difference to the outcomes of people who enter the community justice system.”
The Unpaid Work teams have been developing new initiatives and building partnerships with schools and charity organisations to allow for the workshop to be utilised for meaningful and rewarding projects, focused on paying back to the community.
Jackie Hamilton, Snr Manager Children and Justice Services said “The new workshop is an amazing facility and offers excellent opportunities for service users to experience a range of tasks while undertaking unpaid work. It also means we can complete induction sessions on the premises and staff have a good office base with interview facilities. We are really excited to offer a range of services to the community.”
As part of their habitat improvement project, local primary schools were asked to draw designs for bug houses and hotels as part of their Environment Studies. The Unpaid Work team took these designs and brought them to life, with the final products returned to the schools for the children. Pupils and staff were delighted with the outcome of the work.
The workshop has also recently been utilised by Muirhead Primary who contacted the team looking for support their outdoor space. After some design planning Unpaid Work service users, were supported to build outdoor, seating, planters, activity walls and wooden signs for the pupils. They also brought old sand pits and digging areas back into use.
Work continues out in the community with the workshop also acting as storage facilities for machinery used for gardening and other outdoor work. Recent outdoor work has included clear-up work at Troon esplanade, Fullerton Woods, Kyle Academy and many more. The Unpaid Work team have built strong relationships with Waste Management and the South Ayrshire Ranger Service to support teams in the community.
Tim Eltringham, Director of Health and Social Care added, “I was very grateful to be invited to welcome participants to this event and speak a little about the Health and Social Care Partnership’s vision for this facility. A huge thank you to the unpaid work team who have put such time and care into building this workshop around the needs of people.”
“The team are dedicated to ensuring anyone who finds themselves involved with the justice service receive the best outcomes through meaningful work and a strong support system.”
A Community Payback Order is a sentence imposed by the Courts. It offers Courts a disposal for use as a first response and for use with those who have defaulted on payment of a fine. A Community Payback Order is a sentence served in the community rather than in a prison.
An unpaid work requirement gives the person the opportunity to contribute in a positive way to local communities. Work undertaken as part of unpaid work does not replace paid employment but enhances work carried out by the local authority and community groups.
For further information on the South Ayrshire Unpaid Work Team, you can read our Let’s Talk feature which highlights the benefits of Unpaid Work and some of the positive action undertaken in the community.
You can also read our Community Justice in Action article featuring the three Unpaid Work Teams. It highlights the positive impact that Community Payback Orders can have not only for people with convictions, but for wider local communities.