Prisoners restore broken garden tools to give away to schools and community groups
- Credit: Archant
Prisoners will be using new-found technical skills to restore gardeners' broken and unwanted tools to give away to schools and community groups as part of an innovative rehabilitation project.
Green-fingered Norfolk residents have been encouraged to give away any hand tools they no longer need for the garden to Norfolk County Council's recycling centres at Mayton Wood and Ketteringham.
As part of The Conservation Foundation's Tools Shed project, funded by the Big Lottery, the tools will be repaired in a newly-established workshop at HMP Norwich where they will be restored by prisoners.
The repaired tools will then be offered for free to schools and community gardens.
Martin Edwards, head of reducing reoffending at HMP Norwich, said: 'We're delighted to be part of the community project, giving the men the opportunity to develop positive and beneficial links with community groups and schools.
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'Participating in the scheme boosts their skills and confidence, as well as teaching practical skills which can be used when they leave prison.'
Janice Coglin-Hibbert, Norfolk County Council waste reduction officer, said: 'So many of us have tools in our garden sheds that take up space but have outlived their usefulness and we'd encourage gardeners to bring these to our recycling centres at Mayton Wood and Ketteringham.
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'As well as being a simple way to spring clean your shed, it's great to know that all the tools will go to local schools and community gardeners once they've had some TLC thanks to the men at HMP Norwich.'
Jack Narbed, Tools Shed project manager at The Conservation Foundation, added: 'The Conservation Foundation is excited to be extending Tools Shed to Norfolk.
'Thanks to the Big Lottery funding we are able to set up workshops in four new English prisons, joining HMPs Wandsworth and Dartmoor, which we've been working with for a number of years.
'The response from the community, prisons and the horticultural and recycling industries has been fantastic. Tools Shed is a project that allows people to make a difference to the lives of those in their community - a tool they recycle locally will be given to a local school or community group.
'It's great to have Norwich County Council involved and we would also be glad to hear from any garden centres that would like to collect tools for Tools Shed. We work with garden centres near our other prisons and it's a relationship which works very well on both sides.'
A tool giveaway will be arranged at HMP Norwich later in the spring.
Schools and community groups that would like to receive tools are asked to register at www.conservationfoundation.co.uk/tools