Youth Offending Team create some festive cheer with wooden reindeers

Dorset Echo: Four-legged friends: Wooden reindeer made to raise money for charity by youngsters working with Dorset Youth Offending Team Four-legged friends: Wooden reindeer made to raise money for charity by youngsters working with Dorset Youth Offending Team

TROUBLESOME teenagers are giving something back to the community this Christmas.

Youngsters placed with the Dorset County Council’s Youth Offending Team have been working hard to create some festive cheer in the form of wooden reindeer.

They have carefully handcrafted the models at the YOT’s workshop at Monkton Park near Dorchester and the reindeer are being sold to raise cash for good causes.

More than 80 models all of different sizes have been made so far mainly out of donated materials and some are being sold for between £5 and £35 at Poundbury Garden Centre in Dorchester. The reindeer range from 15cm high to almost 4ft high.

The YOT works with young offenders to try to stop them getting into trouble again and ending up in court.

The reindeer project is part of community reparation in which youngsters give something back to the community as a way of saying sorry for their behaviour. Some were sold last year and the project is being repeated.

One of the young offenders, aged 16, said: “It’s been a useful skill to learn and I hope it will bring a lot of festive cheer to families at Christmas.

“It’s good to give something back to the community. I’ve learnt if you put your mind to it you can create something good out of scrap materials.”

The YOT generally works with offenders aged between 14 and 17. Dorset YOT manager Clive Hawkins said: “This kind of practical, direct community reparation gives them all something to work towards, teaches practical skills and gives the young people something to be very proud of.”

Cabinet member for Children’s Services at Dorset County Council Rebecca Knox said: “Giving young people chances to do something they would never have done before is a really good way of showing them there are positive opportunities for them to make a difference which helps others but also helps them get back on track.

“As a community, we need to nurture and encourage young people, help them to change their lives away from offending and show them there are other choices.”

Comments (1)

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2:48pm Tue 10 Dec 13

islandman says...

We saw similar things at £50 in Whitehall Garden Centre near Bath
We saw similar things at £50 in Whitehall Garden Centre near Bath islandman

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