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PARTNERS ARTICLE – Neighbourhoods & Sustainability Overview

BY LYNSEY WISEMAN, Operations Manager, Glasgow City Council,
Neighbourhoods & Sustainability Service, Community Payback & Neighbourhood Enhancement

I know that Margaret from Community Justice Glasgow’s core team has provided an article that gives an overview of Community Payback Unpaid Work in the context of the broader aims and objectives of the Justice System in Scotland and the Community Justice Glasgow Outcome Improvement Plan (CJOIP).  For context, you can read that article by clicking HERE.

Neighbourhoods & Sustainability (N&S) link very closely with the Community Justice Glasgow team and with the partners that make up the Community Justice Glasgow Partnership.  We very much recognise that Community Payback is about much more than supervising unpaid work.  As Margaret noted, there is a much broader context around addressing the underlying drivers of offending behaviour in order to reduce the risk of further offending.  Neighbourhoods & Sustainability’s Community Payback Service cannot achieve this alone, many partners across the Community Justice Partnership either provide direct or indirect support by way of training or awareness raising in relation to a cross section of issues that may be driving offending behaviour.  For example over 2019-20 this has included Mental Health Awareness – commissioned by the Glasgow Health & Social Care Partnership and delivered by Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH) and Welfare Rights – provided by Parkhead Citizens Advice Bureau which was received very positively by clients.

Poor mental health is a well evidenced driver of offending behaviour, while attending their Payback Order late last year and running into 2020, clients were provided the opportunity to attend Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid (SMHFA) which was offered free of charge to staff and/ or supporting clients going through their Payback order. The Mental Health First Aid course ran over two days and aimed to: 

  • Preserve
  • Prevent mental health problems or crisis developing into a more serious issues.
  • Promote recovery of good mental health.
  • Provide comfort to a person experiencing distress.
  • Increase understanding of mental health issues.

The course provided clients with the knowledge to apply these aims to real life situations.  It covered understanding of common mental health problems, connections between mental health and discrimination and alcohol and drug misuse, the understanding of mental health recovery, self-help information, how to respond or give immediate help when someone is in distress or at risk of suicide, how to apply the five steps of SMHFA.

The course was delivered through a variety of activities, film and discussions. On completion of the course the clients received a certificate of attendance and a manual to take home.

Our team here at N&S will continue to engage with partners to bring these resources into CPO UPW.  We also make direct referrals to other partners who have the skills to deal with people’s more complex issues.  One of these would be our own Recreate Service – you can read more about them in the 2018-19 Annual Report Article ‘Recreating Lives through Volunteering – Nurturing & Growing People’s Potential into Something Incredible’, or by clicking on the picture below to see a Ripple Effect film, made by people with lived experience of the Justice System which features our Recreate Service.

In last year’s Community Justice Glasgow Partnerships Annual Report we provided an overview of how people undertaking Unpaid Work as part of a Community Sentence had benefited some of our communities in Glasgow – ‘Giving People a Sense of Pride & Purpose’.  We continue to undertake work right across the city that has a very positive impact, over 2019-20 this has included:

Daldowie Bench Refurbishment Project  – We have continued to support the ongoing project of refurbishment of memorial benches from Daldowie Crematorium. The workshops at all three depots (Boden Street, Meiklewood and Thornton Street) have been involved in the sanding/ painting element of this project.

Recently at Boden Street we have commenced a new project replacing the broken legs on the benches using cuttings of wood from trees which have naturally fallen throughout Glasgow.








Castlemilk Nursery Project – This project involved a memorial bench from Castlemilk nursery. While on a site visit, officers noticed an old broken bench which was going to be taken to the skip. They asked the nursery staff if they could bring it back to the workshop to work their ‘magic’ on it and restore it to its former glory.

The before and after images highlight the fantastic transformation to Robbie’s bench. 

It has been a particularly challenging time for N&S Community Payback Services this year due to the impact of Covid-19. The service was suspended on 23 March however following the relaxation on some restrictions after lockdown a number of core staff volunteered to resume working in the workshop at Boden Street to support Bereavement Services in the production of wooden sleeve caskets to assist with Muslim burials. 

There has been close communication throughout with Criminal Justice Social Work Services together with ongoing negotiations with both the Trade Unions and N&S Health & Safety team which has resulted in the service being able to safely resume workshop operations for clients, at a reduced capacity, and following strict Government guidelines.

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