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Making the Difference - Community Payback at the Selby Centre!

Offenders serving Community Payback sentences  in Haringey play an important role at the Selby Centre in Tottenham – and are a crucial part of our Green Hub promoting recycling, environment and local skills. 

Serco Managers Jergen Goud and James Carroll have been actively involved in promoting opportunities for ex-offenders at the Selby Centre including supporting employment support for ex-offenders across locations in Haringey and Barnet. 

“The Selby Trust offers meaningful work for offenders and - as these case studies demonstrate - an opportunity for individuals to give something back to their community and also turn their lives around. The excellent projects and support they offer offenders is having a real impact on reducing reoffending in the Capital.

Serco has managed Community Payback in London since October 2012 and, working together with London Probation Trust, we have delivered over one million hours of offender labour, reduced costs to the taxpayer and delivered performance on certain key measures above the national average for Probation Trusts.” 

- Jergen Goud, Community Payback Manager 

Below are just some of the individuals who have taken part in green projects and other roles at the Selby Trust

Making the Difference  - Alex 

“Working as a butcher was not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was a short term solution as I want to be able to use my interests in life instead.” 

Alex joined the Selby Centre in October after being sentenced to 80 Community Payback hours as well as losing his job and finding himself ‘stuck’.  After working 1 day a week to the 10th January 2014, he is now volunteering with the centre on a brand new Bike Recycling Project for Haringey called 'Green Wheels' at the Selby Centre and is thinking about going to college. 

Throught he partnership between SERCO and London Probation, Alex was placed with the Selby Centre in Tottenham where he was able to get involved in a variety of tasks including working as part of the Wood Works Wonders recycling project, learning new skills in carpentry and finding a passion for a Bike Project launched for 2014.  

Working as part of the Community Payback Team alongside other volunteers meant that Alex didn’t feel that he was being judged. Instead he says that;  

“People here have very understanding of my personal circumstances, and I’ve enjoyed being part of a team” 

Initially reluctant to come to the centre, Alex soon found that he could use his community hours productively by helping construct bin sheds, a roof and staff room areas at the Selby Centre as well as chopping kindling, selling raffle tickets for an end of year auction event and moving furniture. 

He says that it has given him a brighter outlook on life –

“It’s given me a better idea of using my hobbies and interests in cars and bikes to impact a project at the centre, and get into college. Seeing other community payback like Roshan being employed has also shown that people here can progress and get something back too.”

After finishing his community hours in January, Alex has already taken apart and fixed his first bike for the Green Wheels Bike Recycling Project with Health and Safety Officer Michael. After carrying out a survey for the planning of the project in December, he is now sharing ideas with the Selby Trust and Haringey Council’s Smarter Travel project to make the scheme a success.

Alex is now considering enrolling at Southgate College to gain his certificate in Bike Repair and Maintenance after impressing Haringey Council’s Smarter Travel team with his enthusiasm on the project.

Making the Difference – Roshan 

“Selby has provided me with an opportunity to start fresh; it has opened the door for me to start a whole new career path”

Now a paid member of staff on an apprenticeship, Roshan started his journey at Selby as a Community Payback Worker. Working on Selby’s Green Hub projects such as Global Garden, Global Kitchen and Wood Works Wonders he completed his 180 hours of community service in October and began volunteering at Selby Centre using his passion for wood working skills learned – as well as supporting other Community Payback Workers.

Roshan has a strong work history in labouring and construction; in fact it was his first job. Developing skills in painting, decorating and renovating, his knowledge and accumulated skill set would prove to be very useful while at the Selby Centre. Using these skills meant that his community hours could be used productively, and strongly encouraged by Community Payback Project Supervisors and Managers keen to develop opportunities for ex-offenders. 

Whilst volunteering for the Green Hub, Roshan helped the Wood Works Wonders project with painting, carpentry and building – but he also played a big role in the wood yard and often took charge. This led to him taking over the existing kindling aspect of the enterprise and ensured that there was enough production of fire wood to help generate income for the project.

Having noticed his hard work, passion and dedication the Selby Trust was able to employ him as a Temporary Green Hub Officer to the beginning of March 2014.

Acting as a supervisor and leading the team has meant that Roshan was able to connect with the ex-offenders - encouraging them to take part and be productive as well as mentoring and helping them gain new skills. Using his experience as an example, he has inspired several others to take part in projects at the centre after completing their hours and has also helped arrange sessions for employment support with individuals claiming benefits.

“The good thing about the Selby Centre is that it gives opportunities to ex-offenders, volunteers, and others on work placements - to gain experience and useful skills that can help them get into employment and further their career. I’ve seen that it helps people.”

Roshan is currently helping the Selby Trust to grow the possibilities for kindling  at  the centre,  and with strong possibilities for contracts with leading organisations, the enterprise is really picking up by supporting the ethos of ‘Recycled Wood for Social Good’:

“I’ve gained new experiences and skills everyday on the Wood Works Wonders project - I plan on furthering my knowledge and building up the project in the community”.

Making the Difference - Halil 

“You get a stereotyped when doing Community Payback, but not everyone fits that stereotype.”

This was definitely the case for Halil who started his Community Payback sentence in August 2013 at the Selby Centre. Having previously worked as a Housing Benefits assessor and a mortgage advisor Halil did not fit the usual typecast of an ex-offender - and having worked for London Borough in Barnet for four years he had a strong background in office work.  Halil hoped to qualify as an accountant but his conviction has meant that he was forced to leave his position as a housing benefit officer and, with the stigma of having a criminal record, it has become increasingly difficult for him to get back into employment:  “My previous work experience is all finance and assessment based, it is now impossible to get a job with a criminal record.”

He became enthusiastic about the Wood Works Wonders project at Selby centre thanks to former Community Payback Worker turned supervisor Roshan.  He is especially enthusiastic about the difference that volunteers are making on-site:  including the brand new office space built by volunteers, the Global Garden, Global Kitchen and the newly created areas for the Green Wheels Bike Recycling project. 

Being a father and a husband, Halil has since taken part time job at Tesco alongside his community hours at the Selby Centre to generate some income in for his family.  “Community Payback has given me a sense of routine and confidence to be part of a team – giving me hope that I might progress back into work” 

Picking up skills in painting, decorating, building and wood works, Halil has now completed his sentence and plans to assist the project with a range of administration and office work.  “Tesco is not a permanent fix for me, [but] Selby has given me skills and experiences that I can use to get a career up and running again. I’ve enjoyed my time at Selby.”

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