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Keepmoat Home Provides Prisoners with Skills for the Future

Keepmoat Home Provides Prisoners with Skills for the Future

To help create a sustainable community, Hull City Council and Hull Citywide Developer Partnership, a consortium of developers that includes Keepmoat Homes and Strata Homes, is supporting skills for prisoners by providing them with old pallets from their new housing developments. These are then upcycled into planters and used to grow food in the local community.

The scheme is the first of its kind and aims to reduce site waste whilst providing offenders with key skills for future employment, as well as help them position themselves for greater work and volunteering opportunities upon release. The first planters have been handed over to the new Cropton Park Community Allotment off Bricknell Avenue, which is being developed by EMS with the support of Hull City Council’s Wyke Area Team.

All parties, including Keepmoat Homes, are working in collaboration with Investors in Community, allowing the prisoners to accurately record the hours they work on the planters, which they’ll be able to access on release. Having launched earlier this year, the prisoners have spent over 85 hours in total and made 52 planters to date.

At HMP Hull, we’re driven to provide prisoners with meaningful employment opportunities whilst in custody, along with relevant skills and training that they will be able to use on release, with an aim to help them find work and live law-abiding lives, and this project fits perfectly with everything we are trying to achieve,” said Thomas Leech, Industries Manager at HMP Hull.

“Prisoners are learning new skills and working hard to produce planters from items that would have essentially gone to landfill. These planters are then given to people in the local community that have earned them through community credits doing things such as volunteering time to do litter picking within the community. The fact that prisoners are giving something back to the community creates a sense of pride and are real sense of purpose for the prisoners.”

Once made, the planters are donated to EMS, a local charity in Hull that works with residents, community groups and local businesses to alleviate food and fuel poverty. The charity sets up community vegetable gardens that aim to promote a healthy lifestyle, allowing residents and families without a garden or allotment to grow their own produce. The planters, food growing and support to become more sustainable are part of a recognition scheme for local volunteers working with EMS.

“This project ticks all the boxes for everyone involved and demonstrates our collective commitment to establishing a more biodiverse and sustainable environment for our community. It was an inspirational initiative from Keepmoat Homes, the council’s long term development partner, for the wood to be repurposed, rather than sending it to landfill,” said Cllr Peter North, Chair of Hull City Council’s Wyke Area.

“The training and work experience gained enhances prisoners’ employment prospects on release, and our residents benefit from well-crafted planters for the community garden with EMS. I look forward to working on future projects alongside our partners to ensure we make best use of our precious green spaces for the benefit of our communities.”

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BDC 301 February 2023