Allotment project success for youths

AN IPSWICH-based youth offending team is today short-listed for a prestigious award thanks to its allotment project.

AN IPSWICH-based youth offending team is today short-listed for a prestigious award thanks to its allotment project.

The team, which works with young people on supervision orders, has been named as a finalist to represent Suffolk in the National Justice Awards on November 5.

The Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme Team's Ipswich Allotment project competed against more than 800 nominations from across England and Wales to become a finalist.

The project developed their key skills in landscape gardening. It also gave them an opportunity to give flowers to residents of care homes and vegetables to a unit for people with learning disabilities.

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As a result of their involvement in the project, 21 out of the 32 young people, who were all prolific and/or serious young offenders, are now either in college training or in employment, with two attending college while working part-time.

Paula Abrahams, chief crown prosecutor and vice-chairman of Suffolk Criminal Justice Board, said: “This is excellent news and we offer our congratulations to the ISSP Team. To see our staff recognised in a national award scheme of this magnitude is a real tribute to the work that is being carried out across the Criminal Justice System in Suffolk.”

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Patricia O'Brien, Suffolk County councillor responsible for children, schools and young people's services, said: “It highlights the important work that goes in to building up an important project that benefits the young people of Suffolk. I am really pleased that it is being recognised not only locally but nationally too.”

Following the success of the Ipswich-based project, there is now a similar project in Lowestoft in conjunction with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Crime Concern, and a Conservation Project in Bury St Edmunds.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London next month as part of the national Inside Justice Week campaign.

N Have you benefited from a project run by the youth offending team? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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