Ranui residents in Waitakere will soon be enjoying the beauty of a newly refurbished community garden, thanks to the hard work of offenders serving community work sentences.
Since the beginning of the year a group of seven offenders working with the WeedFree Trust have contributed over 500 hours of hard labour towards the construction of a huge 120 metre bamboo fence around a community garden, where local residents grow fruits and vegetables.
The offenders were required to assist in harvesting approximately 1000 small and 350 large canes of bamboo before cutting them to size. They then had to drill the connection holes and construct the foundations for the fence using base materials supplied by the Trusts Charitable foundation.
WeedFree Trust Project Manager Neil Henderson says that the efforts put in by the offenders on community Work will have a huge impact on the community garden.
“The offenders serving community work sentences have consistently provided an excellent standard of work. This helps us create a garden structure that’s not only secure but visually attractive for everyone to share and enjoy.”
Ranui Action Project Garden Manager Emma Cohen says the community garden revamp has been a hit with the locals.
“We’ve already had a lot of positive feedback from the local community, as many residents frequently visit the garden and have their own growing plots. Without the help of the offenders we would not be able to pull this project off.”
Waitakere Senior Community Work Supervisor Dineshwar Singh says this project is a great way for the offenders to pay reparation for their crimes.
“The hard work and delicate construction of this unique fence is something the offenders can be proud of. It’s also satisfying for them to work on a project they know will be enjoyed and appreciated by the community.”
Each year New Zealand communities benefit from almost three million hours of labour supplied through community work sentences.
Community work sentences require offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as reparation for their offending. This can also provide offenders with life and social skills and can help them to develop a work ethic that could help them gain employment in the future.
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