Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Award recognises church group's work to reduce re-offending

A CHURCH project working with criminals in West Somerset to help reduce re-offending rates is one of the winners of the 2008 Avon and Somerset Local Justice Awards.
The Hope Centre, based in the Baptist Church, Parks Lane, Minehead (pictured), received the Avon and Somerset Criminal Justice Board award at a presentation held yesterday in Rookery Manor near Weston-super-Mare.
It won the category for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Reducing Re-Offending’ for its work to support the homeless, drug and alcohol abusers, and people involved in criminal activities.
Volunteers working at the centre provide advice and support as well as hot meals and facilities in a bid to reduce re-offending and help put people’s lives back on track.
They also help to make doctors appointments and speak to housing officers and source furniture for those who have made a fresh start in accommodation of their own.
Those who attend the centre are also able to take part in constructive activities, such as crafts, games, and trips out.
The annual Local Justice Awards are nominated by criminal justice staff and members of the public.
Avon and Somerset Chief Constable Colin Port, who is chairman of the criminal justice board, said: “The impact that The Hope Centre has on the Minehead community has been huge.
“Not only do many of their visitors now enjoy a better quality of life, but the level of calls received by the police in relation to these people has dropped considerably.
“Every day, thousands of people across the criminal justice system do an amazing job and their dedication makes a dramatic difference to people’s lives.
“The awards are held each year to honour individuals and recognise exceptional achievement.
“I congratulate the winners, all of whom have gone further than what is expected of them to improve the criminal justice system for the people of Avon and Somerset.
“They truly are heroes of the criminal justice system.”
  • Our photograph shows members of The Hope Centre receiving their award certificate from Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Somerset Alison Cromme. Photo submitted.

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