Criminals muck in at horse farm

BENEFITS FOR FACILITY: Fran Williamson, the centre manager at Penny Farm.
BENEFITS FOR FACILITY: Fran Williamson, the centre manager at Penny Farm.
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CRIMINALS have been mucking in to support a Fylde coast charity.

Offenders supervised by Lancashire Probation Trust have been carrying out unpaid work at World Horse Welfare’s Penny Farm, at Preston New Road, Marton.

The groups of criminals, who have all been sentenced by the courts to community service to make amends for their crimes, have been completing hours of unpaid work for the charity every Friday since March.

During the 156 hours they have spend at the farm they have painted and re-paired fences around the show ring, fixed benches and picnic tables, cut the grass and carried out general maintenance.

World Horse Welfare is a charity dedicated to caring for horses, nearly all of which have suffered abuse or neglect.

Centre manager Fran Williamson said: “World Horse Welfare Penny Farm has really benefited from this project, the offenders that have come to the farm have been a tremendous help and they get on with the work efficiently and effectively.

“They are always supervised and there is never any disruption to our normal working day or procedures. Our grounds are regularly maintained and kept tidy which means they are safe for when we are open to the public.

“Overall it works very well for us and we hope that the relationship with Lancashire Probation Trust can continue.”

Offenders have completed 9,245 hours of community pay back, which is worth almost £55,000 worth of work, if paid at minimum wage, in Blackpool since April.

Paul Eccles, a community pay back supervisor for Lancashire Probation Trust, said: “The offenders fulfil a valuable role for the charity.

“By keeping the visitor areas tidy, clean and safe, the charity’s staff are able to carry out their important work elsewhere on the farm.

“The areas we are looking after are the first families see when they visit the farm, and we are making a welcoming environment for visitors.

“The work we do at Penny Farm is rigorous and often quite labour intensive, and there is always a lot of work to do.”