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Offenders give something back to Annan

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By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Offenders give something back to Annan

OFFENDERS have delivered a boost to the Annan area — from clearing paths to growing vegetables for charity.

And that latter initiative pioneered in Annan by Community Payback has proved so successful that it is now set to be rolled out elsewhere in the region.
The project is based at a former tree nursery loaned to the team by DG First, and a report to councillors said: “The council’s land and horticultural services were being reorganised and we were offered the land and poly-tunnel to undertake the growing of vegetables.”
Explaining this has been developed further in 2014/15, it added: “The produce was donated to Kate’s Kitchen.
“Produce was also used in Annan in our new training kitchen to teach cookery skills to our service users.”
And the project could be expanded to other parts of the region.
The report said: “The plan is to further develop this in the existing bases and to look to the Dumfries area with a smaller growing area at the Crichton Hospital Gardens.”
Other work within Annandale and Eskdale includes maintenance in closed cemeteries, stripping and repainting railings and cutting grass.
And the addressing of sunken graves is subject to a trial in Annandale in partnership with DG First.
The report said: “This is to raise the level of fallen graves by replacing the topsoil and replanting grass to maintain the graves which has become a huge problem in the area.”
And it suggests some assistance may be given to service users to develop the idea into a business.
Other work has including the ongoing delivery of winter logs to the elderly, tidying up at Quintinshill before last year’s Royal visit, painting out graffiti at a Gretna underpass, refurbishing Annan tennis pavilion, groundworks at John Bell Playing Field and maintenance work to public paths.
Community council chairwoman Joyce Wylie said: “May I on behalf of the Annan Community Council thank you and your team for the great work you have carried out at the Victorian Walk and Newbie Path.
“The general public will once again enjoy the lovely walk along the river.”
And Chris Ballance, of Annan Can, has meanwhile spoken of the support Community Payback has offered to the social enterprise, which repurposes household goods.
Chris said: “We would have been unable to progress if it had not been for unpaid work.”

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