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Offenders give back to Annan

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Annan and Eskdale
Offenders give back to Annan

OFFENDERS hit with unpaid work punishments at court have been busy repaying the community in Annan.

Men and women who were sentenced to community payback orders have undertaken several significant projects, including laying a new 4G pitch for Annan Football Club and ground improvement works at Annan Cemetery.

The Royal Burgh of Annan Community Council had also requested help from the Unpaid Work Team to refurbish a bench, signpost, and an information board as well as tidy up the local area.

These projects were all completed between April and September last year, according to a new report produced for next week’s Annandale and Eskdale area committee.

The Unpaid Work Team also gained access to a new unit at Annan Cemetery in 2021, which led to extensive works at the cemetery throughout 2022.

This included establishing lawns, flower beds, pathways and gardening areas for growing vegetables which are used in the kitchen to establish cooking groups and provision of daily meals.

Working areas for processing logs and kindling were also created, allowing for kindling to be donated to communities across the region.

As well as a new workshop area for tasks such as restoring benches, a polytunnel was also set up for growing a variety of fruits and vegetables and learning horticultural skills, while two small ponies are also on site and enjoyed for equine therapy.

In the new council report, social justice work department management stated: “There is an opportunity to engage with the ponies and learn basic husbandry in looking after them. Shelter for the ponies was constructed by service users and supervisors.”

The report continues: “The new move and work that has been carried out has allowed the site to become a fully functional unit with fantastic facilities which is now being used six days per week at present.

“Feedback from unpaid workers and other users of the unit has been very positive, highlighting the calm presence and surroundings.

“Many unpaid workers have expressed that they have enjoyed being involved in the work process and witnessed the development of the new unit as well as learning new skills.

“Work will continue to improve the site along with many projects involved in maintaining the area.”

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