Community Payback helps animal charityFriday, 25 February 2011
An animal shelter says using offenders on Community Payback means money that would have been spent on outside labour can instead be used on caring for abandoned animals.
This winter offenders have been carrying out maintenance at the RSPCA’s Block Fen Animal Shelter in Wimblington, Cambridgeshire, including gardening, cleaning and other work to improve the site.
Kirstyn Gaunt from the RSPCA said: 'If they couldn’t help us out the way they do then we’d have to source somebody outside, which would cost us money. That money could be better spent on the animals.
'We are really making a good saving which all goes back to the animals.'
She said some offenders volunteer at the shelter after completing their sentence.
'They really do put their hearts and souls into it. We treat them like any other volunteers. It works out really well.'
But anyone thinking that Community Payback at the shelter is a soft option can think again, said Community Payback Manager Alan Moore.
'It is a punishment,' he stressed. 'The offenders on individual placements all work fulltime and this takes away their liberty.
'It’s making sure they give their free time to charity. It’s good for the RSPCA. Like everybody, they’re facing financial constraints and volunteers can be hard to come by.'