North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital benefits from youth work

Date published: 24 November 2017

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Young offenders in the Foyle area are helping to repair some of the harm they have caused in their communities by maintaining gardens at the new North West Cancer Centre at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Under supervision of Youth Justice Agency staff, the young people work in the gardens to help enhance the surroundings for cancer patients.

Highlighting the work during Restorative Justice Week, Colleen Heaney, Assistant Director of the Youth Justice Agency’s Western Area Team, based in Foyle, said: “Restorative practice is at the heart of all that we do for young people who offend, for their victims and for the communities within which they live.

“By encouraging the young people to engage meaningfully in placements and to support them in activities as part of their statutory orders, we are restoring broken relationships within the community

“It is heartening to see these young people make genuine efforts to make amends for their offending behaviour.”

Anne Love, Volunteer Services Manager for the Western Trust, said:

“We are delighted to work in partnership with the Youth Justice Agency to support their restorative youth programme.  We applaud and thank the young people and staff for their commitment not only in assisting to maintain the Cancer Centre external grounds for the benefit of our patients, visitors and staff, but for the positive contribution to their local community.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Restorative Justice Week is an international event running from 19-26 November 2017. This year’s theme is Inspiring Innovation.
  2. The Youth Justice Agency aims to make communities safer by helping children to stop offending. The Agency works with children aged 10-17 years who have offended or are at serious risk of offending and provides a range of services, often delivered in partnership with others, to help children to address their offending behaviour, divert them from crime, assist their integration into the community and to meet the needs of victims of crime.
  3. Youth Justice Agency offices are located in Belfast, Newtownards, Ballymena, Banbridge, Londonderry, Enniskillen and Dungannon.
  4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office 028 9052 6444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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