Probation vans transporting food to the vulnerable during COVID-19

Probation vans transporting food to the vulnerable during COVID-19 image

The Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company has mobilised more than a dozen people and seven vans across the region to support the elderly and people self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting food and essential goods.

Interserve runs five Community Rehabilitation Companies that provide rehabilitative services to low and medium risk offenders across England, supervising 25 per cent of that group of offenders.

Following the coronavirus outbreak and in order to comply with NHS and government guidance, Community Payback delivery has been suspended while social distancing measures are in effect. This means the delivery of unpaid work sentences made by the courts has paused, therefore the probation colleagues who run Community Payback and the vans that they take groups out in are temporarily not in use.

Community Payback is a sentence made by the courts to punish offenders for the crime they have committed. Sentences vary from 40 hours through to 300 hours and tasks people complete range from maintaining churchyards and green spaces through to carrying out projects nominated by the community and supporting the charitable sector.

Maurice Ashby, Community Payback manager for the Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company (M CRC), said: “We already have excellent relationships with community groups and local authorities across Merseyside and so it was a logical step to help organisations to supply goods to the people who need it most.

“The whole ethos of probation is to protect the public. During this challenging time, we are proud to be helping get food and supplies to the vulnerable.”

As well as delivering food and supplies, M CRC’s teams are also delivering Personnel Protective Equipment to healthcare agencies locally and Nationally

Jane Leigh, Community Payback Manager for M CRC, said: “PPE is vital for carers who are carrying out home visits to patients in the community.

“We are also supporting food bank delivery to those who are self-isolating or vulnerable across the Wirral, with support from Wirral Council. So far we have delivered 60 boxes of goods and we are arranging other initiatives with local authorities as our response develops.”

Interserve’s transportation group supported the initiative, which has now been rolled out to all of the company’s CRCs.