Positive feedback for Fife unpaid work scheme

Foodbank volunteers: Hugh McKenzie, (right) and John Cullen with Craig Hutton (Fife Council project officer) and Unpaid Work clients, at Dysart Church.
Foodbank volunteers: Hugh McKenzie, (right) and John Cullen with Craig Hutton (Fife Council project officer) and Unpaid Work clients, at Dysart Church.

Fife Criminal Justice Social Work Services’ Unpaid Work scheme has been given a positive boost in their annual feedback review of service recipients.

The scheme is designed to give people with court ordered community service the chance to payback their local communities by undertaking tasks and projects that will benefit their local area and the people living there.

The tasks and projects undertaken have a varying degree of difficulty with the aim of promoting and building upon individual skill bases and supporting offenders with future employment expertise.

Projects have included painting local community halls, decorating properties, landscaping work, work for local charities and assisting a local primary school to develop a sensory garden, to name just a few. The team can also undertake the re-furbishing of park benches, clear snow in the winter and has the equipment to remove chewing gum from walkways.

The feedback survey showed that over 90 per cent of the recipients of the service were happy with the work that had been undertaken and 94 per cent were very happy with the time that it had taken to complete the projects.

Bill Kinnear, service manager, said: “Our staff are experienced in assessing project requests and we aim to make sure that recipients are given the best service possible. We’re happy the hard work is paying off, our service is well received and that we’re making a difference to both the lives of the offenders and those in the local community.”

Kirkcaldy Foodbank is one of the many organisations that has benefitted from the Unpaid Work scheme.

Ian Campbell, chairman of Kirkcaldy Foodbank, said: “We were really pleased with the work undertaken for us by the Unpaid Work team. The team has been involved in the pick-up of food parcels from the Foodbank hub in Dysart and delivering this direct to the food collection points in Kirkcaldy and Burntisland. Without this help, we would struggle to transport the food to these vital collection points and it would make our job, helping people in crisis, all the more difficult. We are supportive of the fact that those sentenced to community payback orders have had the chance to give something back to our charity and the local community, too.”

This type of work, and other examples, showcases the benefits of working alongside the third sector to help local communities.

Bill Kinnear continued: “We are delighted that the Unpaid Work Scheme is viewed in positive terms from recipients of the service; it really shows the excellent work that is provided for the local area. Moving forward we will continue to build on our successes to ensure continuous improvement to our local communities in Fife.”