Several historic racing cars will now be displayed in a manner befitting their status thanks to the work of offenders on community work sentences, who have helped construct a special ‘Race Car Room’ in the Yaldhurst Museum to house the cars.
Community Probation & Psychological Services Christchurch Area Manager Nick Scott says Corrections have been involved with the museum for several years and the relationship has proven positive for both groups.
“Community work sentences require offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as reparation for their offending. We work with a large number of community groups and provide them with resources to help them achieve their goals.
Nick says that while the Yaldhurst Museum has been a great project to be involved with, it’s been quite different to most of the work done by offenders on community work sentences.
“We’ve helped on a wide range of project types, involving all sorts of different skills, but because of the standard of work needed for this project we’ve only used offenders with high-quality trade skills.”
Yaldhurst Museum Director Grant Cooper said they had three offenders help with building, plastering and painting a new display known as the ‘Race Car Room’, which will display racing cars and motorbikes from the 1940 and 50s.
The offenders also upgraded the museum’s entrance, helped build and set up displays and also repaired brickwork on an old fire station located on the site.
“The assistance provided by the offenders was of great benefit. Without their input it would have taken years and we may never have completed it at all. Also, we had a limited budget, so having a free resource helped us greatly.”
Nick says the offenders also benefited from helping out on the project.
“Community work is a practical way for offenders to learn work habits and can assist with getting employment, which has been shown to greatly reduce the chances of further offending. The offenders also get a real sense of pride from their efforts. They’re giving back something to the community, which is a positive outcome for the offenders.
Annually, New Zealand communities benefit from almost three million hours of labour supplied through Community Work sentences."
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