Goulburn offenders help injured wildlife, charities

Goulburn Community Corrections staff and offenders are helping sew pouches for orphaned joeys and injured possums as one of several programs contributing to the community.

Manager Renee Covington said the Community Service Work team have partnered with WIRES, Vinnies, retirement villages and schools on a variety of positive projects.

“Community Service Work is an opportunity to harness people’s skills and channel that into projects that provide a direct benefit to the Goulburn community,” Ms Covington said.

“Offenders are sewing cotton pouches for orphaned joeys and injured possums, as well as cutting old t-shirts from Vinnies into strips and recycling them into dog chew-toys for the shop to sell.

“Working with not-for-profits and other community groups often gives offenders a great sense of pride knowing they’re giving back to organisations that often don’t have the time or volunteers to do the work themselves.”

The group are currently knitting blankets for retirement villages and nursing homes, beanies for people experiencing homelessness and small teddy bears for disadvantaged children. They’re also covering library books and making flash cards for school children.

Community Service Organiser Renee Woodberry said many offenders receive a confidence boost by learning new skills during the program.

“Not everyone knows how to knit and we had one woman who had never attempted and wasn’t very confident initially,” Ms Woodberry said.

“We worked with her and now this same woman consistently produces more than 10 bears a week – knitting has become her hobby at home.

“All of our offenders really take pride in their work and what they produce is high-quality. Before they complete their work orders they pass their skills onto others, ensuring new offenders can continue contributing to these community partnerships.”

Goulburn Community Corrections has returned about 2,360 work hours to the local community since January.

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