Community service pays off in Kempsey

Community Corrections Kempsey manager Damian Baker and Community Gateway team leader Richard Holloway

Community Corrections Kempsey manager Damian Baker and Community Gateway team leader Richard Holloway

COMMUNITY Corrections’ partnership with Community Gateway is a great example of how people who have been convicted of a criminal offence endeavour to pay back their debt to society.

Community Gateway is an aged care and disability provider, and registered charity, based in a facility located on the corner of Forth and Yaelwood atreets in Kempsey.

Community Corrections runs a mobile work crew of motivated labourers undertaking Community Service Order hours. This provides a regular and free service to organisations like Community Gateway, where the community receives a benefit from the hard work of these workers.

A Community Service Order (CSO) is an order made by a court requiring a person convicted of certain offences to perform unpaid work for the community for a specified number of hours. 

“We are so appreciative of the regular work and contribution these guys make to our service and clients. They are hard-working guys who I have experienced have a desire to put something back in to society for the offences they have committed,” Community Gateway team leader Richard Holloway said.

“The money we are able to save as a result of this partnership can be directly allocated back in to our programs for clients.”

Through this partnership, people who have been approved by Community Corrections for work in a community setting get much needed skills development and work experience.

This opportunity provides a win-win for both inmates and community organisations like Community Gateway and provides part of their preparation for return to normal life.

The mobile work crew operates from Kempsey Community Corrections seven days per week and undertakes various projects for community organisations and centres including gardening, mowing and landscaping.  While undertaking these works, individuals are able to obtain support to achieve goals that provide them with motivation, direction and a sense of achievement when these objectives are reached.

Community Corrections manager Damian Baker: “It’s great to be a part of partnerships like this one with Community Gateway. I see offenders who participate in this program take away a sense of ownership and pride in their work when they see the immediate benefits their labour brings to people who are aged or living with a disability. It’s a really important part of the rehabilitation process … giving back.”

Community Gateway provides multiple services to people who are aged or disabled to maintain their ability to remain in their own homes, as well as a variety of programs from their Kempsey hub.

The money saved by the partnership with Community Corrections is directly ploughed back in to such things as memory wellness.