Young offenders working to keep homeless warm and dry

Politics / Tue 13th Feb 2018 at 08:02am

YOUNG people working with Essex Youth Offending Service (YOS) have been supporting Chelmsford-based rucksack project, Cool to be Kind, with its efforts to keep homeless people warm and dry this winter.

Over the past six weeks the young people, who are carrying out reparation work with the YOS, have collected, sorted and prepared items donated by the public, including warm clothes, sleeping bags and non-perishable food.

The group packed a total of 177 complete rucksacks ready to be delivered to people living on the streets in Essex and beyond.

Dan from the Cool to be Kind project said: “On behalf of myself and the team, I would like to thank everyone from Essex Youth Offending Service for their tremendous effort in galvanising young people and members of the community, and donating so many full rucksacks.

“The rucksacks are full of essential items that will benefit a homeless person during these cold months and have been distributed, not only in towns across Essex, but also in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk.

“These donations also make up just over 50% of the total rucksacks donated to the project this winter and I hope we can replicate these efforts again next winter. “

Karen Sinclair, Referral Order Co-ordinator for Essex YOS and Essex County Council lead for the rucksack project, said: “Our collaboration with Cool to be Kind has been such an astounding success and we have been amazed at the generosity of the local community and everyone involved.

“We are very proud to have helped the team with the work they do to support homeless people, and happy to have been able to give our young people the chance to contribute to this important project.”

Essex YOS work with many young people aged 10-18 who carry out ‘reparation’ as part of their court order.

The service ensures all its reparation work with young people is restorative and involves giving back to the local community, including charities, not-for-profit agencies and those who are most vulnerable in our society.

Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “I’m really proud of the efforts of our Youth Offending Service and the young people that work with them.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in supporting the Cool to be Kind project, including our local communities for the generosity they’ve shown.”

The YOS is always looking to contribute to projects to help vulnerable individuals across Essex. If you have an idea for the team, please contact Karen Sinclair on [email protected] or 07921 912509.

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