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​Prison Community Projects Team put smiles on kids’ faces

Published date: Thursday 30 May 2019 

[PDF version of this media release]

South Coast Correctional Centre staff and inmates have given school children plenty to smile about this term, creating two new play spaces at local schools over the holidays. 

A group of six carefully selected minimum-security inmates designed and constructed a sensory path for children living with disability at Bomaderry Public School and a shaded sandpit at Huskisson Preschool during the Easter school holidays. 

The Central Shoalhaven Mobile Preschool Management Committee thanked the team for their help designing the sandpit, providing advice on materials and building the new play space. 

“We can’t thank the Community Projects Team enough for all the work they have done for our preschool,” the Management Committee said. 

“Being a not-for-profit community organisation, we struggle to find the funds for improvements such as this. 

“Without the assistance of this wonderful Corrective Services NSW program we wouldn’t have been able to upgrade our facility to this standard.” 

Community Projects Overseer Robert Duff said the projects were part of the 384 working-hours the group contributed to the Shoalhaven community last month. 

“Our Community Projects Team is a fabulous support for local groups who don’t always have the time, money or volunteers to keep up with groundskeeping, maintenance and other labour-intensive projects,” Mr Duff said. 

“These partnerships are a great opportunity for inmates to learn new skills like carpentry, landscaping and painting while becoming accustomed to normal work hours and routines. 

“The skills, confidence and self-respect they develop from the work has a really positive impact on their chances of rehabilitation.” 

During the school holidays the team spent 220 working-hours performing cleaning, groundskeeping and maintenance jobs for primary and high schools in Huskisson, Bomaderry, Terara and Nowra. 

The group has also been working at TAFE Nowra, Jamberoo Abbey and WIRES Illawarra.