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Offenders supporting care home

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Offenders supporting care home

OFFENDERS who avoided jail time have been praised for their work in supporting an elderly care home in Castle Douglas.

People ordered to carry out community service instead of a prison term end up at various places across the region, including community groups, charity shops, and even doing gardening work at care facilities for the elderly.

Carlingwark House in Castle Douglas, which cares for up to 30 senior citizens, has benefitted from offenders making a valuable contribution.

In a new Dumfries and Galloway Council social work report, management at the care home stated: “Thank you to the (community) pay back team for the amazing work they are doing at Carlingwark House.

“They have treated all our garden furniture, tidied our flower containers, raised beds and trimmed the grass in the small patio garden area. This means our residents and staff can enjoy this lovely weather and get outdoors for a while each day.

“Always polite, friendly and very obliging – nothing is too much trouble for these lads.

“Please pass on our genuine appreciation to your team of staff and service users. This has made such a big difference to our residents and is going a long way to improving their quality of life and general health and well-being.”

Meanwhile, the council’s family support service, which aids vulnerable families often struggling in poverty, also received valuable assistance through the community payback order scheme.

Work was done in helping to clear waste from a garden in Castle Douglas. A member of social work staff thanked those carrying out community service for completing a “very unpleasant” task.

They continued: “I am aware that this was a community payback order and that those who helped with this needed to do so as part of their order.

“However, I can only thank them on behalf of the family and myself for doing such a good job.

“I hope that this commitment to the job goes a long way in their community payback order.”

The council’s social work justice services department handles all community payback orders issued by the courts.

The target is to see the offenders and process 90 percent of all orders within one working day of the order being made. However, due to staffing shortages and workload pressures, this target “remains challenging”, according to council social work director Stephen Morgan.

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