Taking action in Waltham Forest

Working across two action days

Community Payback provides an opportunity for service users to complete their hours while giving back to the community and helping to restore public areas for the benefit of those that live around you. Working with Waltham Forest Sports and Leisure, we worked across two action days in Waltham Forest, helping to improve sports grounds and public areas as well as increase public safety.

“A local Safer Neighbourhoods officer came to meet us, to thank us, and even got involved for a bit of the day.”
Claire Farquhar, Head of CP (Operations)

Preventing antisocial behaviour
On the first action day, at Sailsbury Hall in Waltham Forest, 15 service users worked for seven hours each in partnership with Waltham Forest Sports and Leisure to combat a recent spate of antisocial behaviour and overgrown  brambles foliage. Service users worked to clear the dense overgrowth and open up the playing grounds. They then used this green waste to block off an area that people use to break into the playing grounds, providing an uninviting wall of brambles, stinging nettles and more to discourage people to
illegally enter.

Ensuring residents’ safety
On the second action day, 15 service users worked for seven hours each in Chestnut Fields in Waltham Forest. Local residents use the area for exercise and a cut through to access local schools and colleges, but the handrails were not accessible owing to overgrown foliage, and a densely overgrown area with rubbish in it that was clearly used as a sheltered space for anti-social activity.
The service users cut back all the overgrowth, re-painted the handrails and tidied the area.
They then cut back the trees and opened up the sheltered space, making it more exposed and discouraging future antisocial activity. The large amount of green waste was then removed by lorry, ensuring the grounds were clear and ready for residents to safely use.

Positive outcomes
With 210 hours of unpaid work delivered over two days, the service users  were given the opportunity to pay back to the community and focus on rehabilitation. Supervisors had positive discussions with service users regarding thinking and decision making, and service users worked well as a team.

“I think the action day was brilliant. I gained great teamwork skills and communication…I took pride in the before and after pictures of the work we did – the transformations were just amazing. We also had a member of the
public complimenting the work – which is also a bonus.”
Service user

  • 89% of beneficiaries reported they would use Community Payback again
  • 85% of beneficiaries would recommend Community Payback to others
  • 82% of beneficiaries would hire a Community Payback worker if a suitable vacancy became available.
    (Source: Community Payback beneficiary survey 2019)