Don’t Trash Oldham: Young people give back through Restorative Justice

Young people are supporting Don’t Trash Oldham and ‘giving back’ to the community.

The charity Positive Steps has teamed up with Oldham Council to relaunch Restorative Justice work in the borough, after it was paused due to the pandemic.

Restorative Justice has many benefits, including repairing harm between people.

When a young person commits an offence, they can make up for their behaviour by carrying out unpaid work that benefits the community.

Recently a young person, who was issued with a referral order in court, helped clean up Failsworth by picking up three bags of litter and waste as part of his Giving Back hours.

The Don’t Trash Oldham team will be cleaning up Failsworth East and West in May.

Giving back is supervised in the community by engagement workers from Oldham Youth Justice Service.

The council’s Environmental team then picked up the bagged waste.

The young person who did the clean-up said he would never throw litter again and now understands the impact it can have on a community.

A number of passers-by also commended the young person for paying back.

Councillor Amanda Chadderton, Deputy Leader of Oldham Council and Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Restorative justice is a good way for young people to give something back

“By carrying out unpaid work they are facing up to their actions but also doing something to benefit the community – sometimes in the area where they offended.

“Hopefully the young people involved will get some positives from the experience.”

Demi, Brewis-Buckley, the Restorative Justice Co-ordinator from Oldham Youth Justice Service, said: “Giving back has many benefits to both the community and the young person.

“We really promote the use of Restorative Practices throughout our service and work we do with young people.

“I was chuffed to hear the feedback from a member of the community, as one lady had referred to the young person as a positive role model. I was also glad to learn that he had reflected on his previous litter habits and wanted to make a positive change moving forward.

“We continue to educate our young people about the issues dropping litter can have on the community and look forward to further partnership work with Oldham Council.”

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