Making community work motivating

Judge says he never experienced anyone requesting a longer sentence, but it happened under Work and Living Skills programme.

Judge says he never experienced anyone requesting a longer sentence, but it happened under Work and Living Skills programme.

SERVED UP ON A PALLET: Diane Costain (second from left), of Te Whare Tu Wahine Gisborne Women's Refuge, receives donated planter boxes made by participants in a Department of Corrections/Tairawhiti REAP course for women serving community work sentences. Presenting the planter boxes are (from left) Stephney Grayndler and Kereopa Wharehinga of the Department of Corrections, and Hemi Houkamau of Tairawhiti REAP. Picture by Liam Clayton

“I’VE never experienced this before,” a judge in Gisborne District Court said last week when a woman asked him for a longer sentence of community work.

The woman is one of a number involved in an outdoor furniture-making course as part of their community work sentence.

Stephney Grayndler, the Department of Community Corrections’ senior community works supervisor, said the unusual exchange in court showed the benefit of the community work programme that runs for a maximum period of 10 weeks.

The course took place in the Gisborne Community Corrections’ community work compound under the Work and Living Skills programme.

During a four-hour session each Wednesday, the women under the guidance and supervision of EJ Ehau, a tutor from Te Tairawhiti Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP) and Community Work supervisor Kereopa Wharehinga, learned basic woodworking skills.

Turning pallets into furniture

They turn discarded pallets into furniture items. Most of the women are single mothers and they use the furniture in their own homes.

Ms Grayndler said course participants developed skills and motivation, and some participants took wood home to continue making furniture.

One woman's family members accused her of stealing the furniture item she had made for herself.

Hemi Houkamau, adult community education coordinator at Tairawhiti REAP, said the course could make a significant and positive impact on participants. She said there had been requests to launch a similar course at Ruatoria.

Garth Newman, service manager at Gisborne Community Corrections, said the furniture-making course was more successful than anticipated.

The department was building a strong partnership with Tairawhiti REAP and there were plans for other initiatives with them.

Women embrace the programme

“The women who took part embraced it more than we could have expected,’’ Mr Newman said.

“It’s such a worthwhile course that it will become a regular for some of the female offenders we manage. Some furniture made will continue to be donated to local organisations.”

Two course participants who spoke to the Herald said they would recommend the course to others.

‘‘You learn good skills,” one said.

She was the woman who had asked the judge for a longer sentence after initially being sentenced to 40 hours, the minimum for community work.

Items participants made include coffee tables, plant boxes, bench seats, coffee tables, a television cabinet and chairs.

The other woman who spoke to the Herald said she had made steps for her family’s trampoline.

“I’VE never experienced this before,” a judge in Gisborne District Court said last week when a woman asked him for a longer sentence of community work.

The woman is one of a number involved in an outdoor furniture-making course as part of their community work sentence.

Stephney Grayndler, the Department of Community Corrections’ senior community works supervisor, said the unusual exchange in court showed the benefit of the community work programme that runs for a maximum period of 10 weeks.

The course took place in the Gisborne Community Corrections’ community work compound under the Work and Living Skills programme.

During a four-hour session each Wednesday, the women under the guidance and supervision of EJ Ehau, a tutor from Te Tairawhiti Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP) and Community Work supervisor Kereopa Wharehinga, learned basic woodworking skills.

Turning pallets into furniture

They turn discarded pallets into furniture items. Most of the women are single mothers and they use the furniture in their own homes.

Ms Grayndler said course participants developed skills and motivation, and some participants took wood home to continue making furniture.

One woman's family members accused her of stealing the furniture item she had made for herself.

Hemi Houkamau, adult community education coordinator at Tairawhiti REAP, said the course could make a significant and positive impact on participants. She said there had been requests to launch a similar course at Ruatoria.

Garth Newman, service manager at Gisborne Community Corrections, said the furniture-making course was more successful than anticipated.

The department was building a strong partnership with Tairawhiti REAP and there were plans for other initiatives with them.

Women embrace the programme

“The women who took part embraced it more than we could have expected,’’ Mr Newman said.

“It’s such a worthwhile course that it will become a regular for some of the female offenders we manage. Some furniture made will continue to be donated to local organisations.”

Two course participants who spoke to the Herald said they would recommend the course to others.

‘‘You learn good skills,” one said.

She was the woman who had asked the judge for a longer sentence after initially being sentenced to 40 hours, the minimum for community work.

Items participants made include coffee tables, plant boxes, bench seats, coffee tables, a television cabinet and chairs.

The other woman who spoke to the Herald said she had made steps for her family’s trampoline.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the gun law changes announced this week, and signal of further tightening?