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Family open day in Northampton for volunteer work ex-offenders

King's Lynn Ferry operator Steve Kingston was arrested and pepper sprayed by police during the floods for refusing to leave his boat. ENGANL00120131220145357

King's Lynn Ferry operator Steve Kingston was arrested and pepper sprayed by police during the floods for refusing to leave his boat. ENGANL00120131220145357

Volunteers on a rehabilitation project for ex-offenders celebrated their recent hard work at a community centre in Northampton with a family open day.

Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) hosted the event at Hunsbury Hill Centre in Northampton as part of National Family Week.

It was organised for volunteers on the Pathways project, run by Northamptonshire Police and Groundwork Northants to give ex-offenders a chance to boost their employment eligibility with volunteer work and developing new skills.

The centre opened up on its High Barn with stalls, face painting, games, a bouncy castle, a visiting beek-keeper and a police car for children to sit in.

Despite the unreliable weather, 90 visitors turned up.

One Pathways volunteer thanked all the staff involved in putting the event together and said: “Thank you for today, I loved it and so did my family, I am happy I was a part of it.”

Northamptonshire ACRE has now been welcoming Pathways for a year, offering the work in clearing land, developing community gardens, restoring an old cottage on the grounds and, this summer, helping prepare the site for its involvement with Northampton In Bloom.

Gemma Lyon, of the Pathways offender management team said: “A special thanks to ACRE helping us host the event. All of our clients are extremely positive about anytime they spend at ACRE, they are always made to feel welcome and their contibutions and ideas valued.

“Without opportunities like ACRE we would not be able to offer them meaningful activities that help them to become more work-ready and divert them away from re-offending. I have really enjoyed our partnership working so far and I hope it continues long into the future.”

 

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