Worcestershire Offenders Graduate

2nd October 2012

A special presentation was held today for the first cohort of offenders from Worcestershire to complete the Care Farm Skills Training Programme at Willowdene Farm.


The Care Farm Skills Training Programme can be offered as a Specified Activity Requirement for 25 days, each consisting of seven hours, spread over a fourteen week period.  The aim of the programme is to get offenders 'work ready'.   It offers a range of learning opportunities including mechanics, animal welfare, forestry operations and welding.  Offenders should achieve at least two qualifications by the end of the programme.


From this cohort of eight offenders from Worcester, Droitwich and Kidderminster, seven successfully completed the programme and one unfortunately had to leave for medical reasons. 


Matt Home from Willowdene Farm presented the students with their awards and congratulated them on their achievements, he said: "Not only is this a deprivation of the students' time but they have to come along and get stuck in.  We don't want them to miss out on any of the training and skills they can gain. We hope that this is the end of their offending lives and we want to help give them the skills to move into a purposeful lifestyle".  He also assured the students that he would still be available at the end of the telephone if they needed help and support, or signposting in the future. 


Tricia Bradbury, JP and Chair of the Bromsgrove and Redditch Bench attended the presentation, she said: "I have used the Specified Activity in court so it is really good to come along and see the place and meet the people.  As a Magistrate, protecting the public is our primary concern but we also want to sentence the individual to something that is going to achieve the biggest success so that we don't see them in court again.  Coming here today it is so evident that this new initiative is working well".

Keywords: Willowdene, Specified Activity