A community gardening scheme in Ripon which helps disadvantaged people has been given a boost from criminals' cash.
Ripon Community Link Walled Garden Scheme successfully bid for a portion of £25,000 which was made available to local groups and charities under North Yorkshire Police's Why should they? campaign.
The scheme was awarded £2,856 from the fund, which is made up of cash confiscated by North Yorkshire Police's Financial Investigation Unit under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The Walled Garden Scheme is based on Palace Road in Ripon and includes the former Bishops Palace Walled garden, orchard and woodland, built in 1847, as part of the Bishop's Palace.
The scheme provides work placements for young people and adults with learning disabilities, mental health and physical disabilities. The garden also works with York and North Yorkshire Probation Trust, the Youth Offending Team and Northallerton Prison.
The garden was given £2,856 to pay for a part time Partnership Development worker and materials to develop a decking area around the visitor centre.
Inspector Rob Thorpe of Ripon Safer Neighbourhood Team presented a cheque at the garden's 20th anniversary celebrations last month.
Inspector Thorpe said:
"The garden is a wonderful facility providing a place where people can learn new skills and develop confidence. It gives us great pleasure to be able to support this fantastic work. It's also very satisfying that we are able to do this with money taken from the criminal fraternity."
Chris Searle, Manager of Ripon Community Link Walled Garden Scheme, added:
"We are delighted with the funding which has helped us improve our facilities for the general public which in turn we hope will attract more customers enabling us to continue our work supporting vulnerable people.
"We provide 50 placements per week through the York and North Yorkshire Probation Trust and Northallerton Prison, demand is increasing and the provision of a Partnership Development worker will help us to develop the partnership further and the range of placement opportunities we can offer."
The garden and visitor centre is open to members of the public free of charge and sells a range of plants, hanging baskets, vegetables, fruit, craftwork, logs, Christmas trees and wreaths. The garden also manages all planting and maintenance for Ripon in Bloom. For further information visit www.riponcommunitylink.org.uk
TheWhy should they? campaign is designed to support the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), a piece of legislation which allows the police to take illegally earned money off criminals.
Over the last two financial years, North Yorkshire Police's Financial Investigation Unit have seized more than £2.3m from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
The team made their largest single seizure so far in January this year when they seized £800,000 from Dennis and Bianca McGinley who threatened their victims into parting with more than £1.8m.
The Why should they? Campaign made £25,000 of seized cash available to local good causes in North Yorkshire and the City of York which help make a contribution to reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.
21 May 2012