A Community Payback Team works with veterans to restore war memorial

07 Nov 2014

A Community Payback Team works with veterans to restore war memorial

Offenders from Cumbria and Lancashire Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) have been working alongside veterans to restore Whitworth Memorial Gardens in time for Remembrance Day.

Over the years rain run off had led to the total collapse of the wall which runs the length of the gardens surrounding the monument, to the point where it was impossible to tell if there had been a wall there at all.

Local members of Veterans in Communities (VIC) were keen to restore the area in time for Remembrance Day as part of the commemorations of the start of the First World War one hundred years ago this year. They approached the Cumbria and Lancashire CRC, which led to a team of offenders on Community Payback (CP) being involved.

The project began in April where all the fallen stones were collected and refurbished and a new dry stone wall built, the area was landscaped, a willow tank and soldier were planted on the Whitworth boundary and a new stone seating area put in place.

The CP team were led by Paul Blezard, an ex-Royal Marine, who received personal training on how to dry stone wall himself before tackling the project with his unpaid work team. He said: �Everybody worked with real commitment and were dedicated to doing a good job on such a meaningful project. We did have some periods of heavy rain which didn�t help our progress, but we got wall finished in time for Remembrance Sunday and we�re pleased with the final result.�

The finished project has been warmly welcomed by Roger Chaney, Business Development Manager for VIC. �We were in some doubt as to whether we could get the Memorial ready in time but the Community Payback team worked exceptionally hard alongside us. They also worked to such a high standard that we are all very grateful to them and look forward to working with them again on future community projects.�

To mark the project a plaque has been installed bearing the inscription: �This wall was rebuilt by Veterans in Communities and Community Payback 2014.�

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