Coalisland’s Brackaville Church of Ireland has had help from Probation’s Community Service squads, to tidy and decorate the church for the local congregation.
The work involves service users clearing up around the grounds of the church and car park. It is very important during winter, so leaves and debris don’t create hazards for church goers. Throughout the year they also take care of the graveyard, cut hedges, paint fences, mow the lawns and power wash the footpaths. They also do important work inside the church doing general maintenance, cleaning down the pews, vacuuming, dusting and helping with any heavy lifting. The squad also turned their hands to decorating the church for the congregation for Christmas. The work also includes the Church Hall and its carpark.
Niall McEvoy, Assistant Director, said: “Community Service is one of the most successful court sentences in terms of preventing re-offending. Three out of four people who complete community service do not re-offend within one year. The work service users on a Community Service sentence do and the supervision we provide helps challenge their behaviours while they pay back for the harm they have caused the community in a direct, visible, and meaningful way.
“The work Community Service carries out at this church, and at projects all over, has an important positive impact on the local community and on the individual service user. For some of our service users, it gives them a structure they have not had before, for others it allows them to learn a new skill, but for all it provides an opportunity for them to accept what they have done while doing good for the community.”
Ruth McClelland, Honorary Secretary at Brackaville Church of Ireland said: “The work the men have been doing on their Community Service has been such a great encouragement to us all. Maintaining a church and its grounds is continuous and the help Community Service has provided us is appreciated by the congregation.”
Niall McEvoy added: “Community Service has continued throughout the pandemic. The contribution of Community Service has been welcomed by local communities, organisations and individuals. If anyone has a possible project they can contact Probation through pbni.org.uk or one of our local offices.”