Under-18s who have committed a crime often undertake reparation work to make amends for the harm they have caused to an individual or community, usually at the request of the victim.
One of those activities has involved people under the supervision of the Youth Offending Team (YOT) – part of Bristol City Council – tending to an allotment in Knowle.
Here, they have been able to learn basic gardening skills they have used to grow fruit and vegetables, which has then been sold to raise money for charity.
Caroline Mellon, YOT team leader, said: â€œThe allotment has been such a positive experience for the young people we work with, many of whom have never had the opportunity to do anything like this in the past.
â€œAlthough some can find it difficult to begin with they always get something out of it. We also encourage them to understand that by doing the work they are giving something back to victims for the harm caused by their offending.â€
Bristol YOT has donated Â£148.66 to Victim Support, the charity it has been working closely with in terms of restorative justice.
This can involve anything from face-to-face meetings between culprit and victim, to reparation work in the community or a letter of apology.
Frances Keel, service delivery manager at Victim Support in Bristol, said: â€œWe are very excited to be working with the Youth Offending Team on this project.
â€œThe specialist work which both organisations do ensures that both victim and offender are supported in moving forward from the crime.â€
Rhiannon Evans, divisional manager for Victim Support Avon and Somerset, said: â€œWe are very grateful to the YOT for this kind donation which is perfectly timed to mark Restorative Justice week, from November 17 to 24.
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