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Cash available for residents to train as Restorative Justice Facilitators

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The number of victims wishing to meet their offender to explain the impact of their actions has increased in recent months.

In response to the growing demand, Ron Hogg, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner, has made 60 new places available for local people who would like to be trained in this approach.

Restorative Justice offers victims the chance to meet their offender to find out why the offence occurred and agree a way for amends to be made. Research shows that victims can find the process empowering and it can help restore their confidence and peace of mind after experiencing a crime.

Ron said: “With a growing number of victims wishing to take advantage of this opportunity, the need for trained practitioners to safely and effectively manage these encounters has never been higher. Under the right circumstances restorative justice can aid the healing process for victims of crime and reduce reoffending.

"I have used money allocated to me by the Ministry of Justice to fund two co-ordinators to improve the delivery of restorative justice across County Durham and Darlington.

“Individuals and communities have already benefitted from the valued contributions our existing facilitators have made, and we’re now looking to train more facilitators who are keen to support others in their community.”

The accredited training will run between September and January in Durham and Darlington, and offers residents the chance to become a Restorative Justice Facilitator and gain a recognised Level 3 qualification.

As an extra incentive, funding of up to £500 is being offered to would-be students of any age who can spare 3 hours a week to run these meetings for victims and offenders once their training is complete. The subsidy reduces the cost of the course to only £5 per session.

No previous experience is required, as the training equips you with all you need to know, including valuable skills such as relationship-building, problem-solving, negotiation and conflict resolution. The course is highly rated by students, and can open the door to a raft of new friends and career opportunities. Former student Kev Gamblin said:

“This course is one of, if not the most valuable piece of training that I have ever been involved with in 23 years of being a social care worker. I have been involved with a lot of statutory and compulsory training and have yet to be as enthused as I am of seeing the value of restorative justice. I can already feel the difference with clients – this course has given me a whole new approach to the way I engage with them.”

Two briefing sessions are being held next week to give you the chance to learn more, and chat to staff, former students and existing facilitators. The sessions will take place on:

  • Wednesday 12 August from 7-8pm at the Bowburn Community Centre, Durham
  • Thursday 13 August from 4.30-5.30pm and 6-7pm in the Dolphin Centre, Darlington

Full details of the course and funding available can also be obtained by requesting an information pack from kevin.thompson@darlington.gov.uk, or by calling 01325 406771 before 14 August.

Posted on Thursday 6th August 2015
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