Matthew Barber and the Probation Service

PCC visits allotment project as part of 50 year celebrations

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On Tuesday (14/11), Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Barber, visited the Sorrell Road Allotment Project in Blackbird Leys.

Based in Blackbird Leys, the Sorrell Road Allotment Project is supported by local allotment users who provide seeds and plants for the plots. It is a sustainable project which has, over the years, made a variety of storage spaces, weather resistant shelters and outdoor furniture from reclaimed or donated wood.

Following his visit, Matthew said: “It was a pleasure to meet the team at Sorrell Road Allotment Project to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Community Payback scheme earlier this week.

“Unpaid work is an important part of punishment and rehabilitation. The Probation Service are always looking for new opportunities for unpaid work, and I have recently suggested a number of projects across Thames Valley where offenders can make a practical contribution to the community and give something back.

“As well as paying back to society, those doing unpaid work gain skills that can help them into work and avoid future offending, and on the Sorrell Road allotment all of the food produced is donated to the local food bank.”

The allotment plots in Blackbird Leys have been donated to South Central Probation Service, in partnership by Oxfordshire Council, and is one of two sites in which the Probation Service operates as part of the Community Payback scheme.

Community Payback is where offenders work on projects to pay back the community for their crimes. Residents can have a say in where that work happens by nominating places they feel would benefit. You can nominate a Community Payback project to suggest what unpaid work is carried out by offenders in your local area.