30 September 2009>
Young offenders from across the Caerphilly county borough have been making amends for their past behaviour by working to make the local environment an even nicer place for the community to enjoy.
As part of their reparation work with the local Youth Offending Service (YOS), youngsters have been working alongside Commons Rangers at Caerphilly County Borough Council to help repair some of the dry stone walls that run through and around the Caerphilly county borough.
One young person involved with the Youth Offending Service, 17-year-old Ryan Godsell, has been working alongside Commons Ranger Dave Parfitt and under the instruction of dry stone walling expert Martin Rathbone to repair a 7-metre section of wall in Fochriw, which had fallen into disrepair.
Cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Lyn Ackerman said, "I commend projects such as this, which provide local young offenders with meaningful work to carry out as a means of repaying to the community for the crimes they committed.
At the same time, the young people are also able to learn valuable new skills that will help them with future career prospects and to turn their lives around for the better."
Dry stone walling expert, Martin Rathbone said, "The walls in the Fochriw area are over 150 years old and some are in urgent need of repair. Ryan has worked very hard in repairing this seven-metre gap and he has picked up the basic skills of dry stone walling.
I have offered him further training once his reparation hours have been completed, at the end of which he will be able to attempt an examination at attain a qualification which will allow him to make a good living from this work."
This is just one example of similar work being undertaken throughout the whole Caerphilly county borough by young offenders taking part in community reparation work.
For further information, please contact the Youth Offending Service (YOS) on 01495 235 623.
The work of the two Commons Rangers and the costs of Mr Martin Rathbone have been part funded through the Rural Development Plan for Wales 2007 - 2013 which is funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and the European Union.
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