Young offenders put something back into their community when they helped to create a new a community garden at the Neuadd St Cattwg Community Hall in Gelligaer.
The youngsters, from the local Intensive Supervision and Surveillance Programme (ISSP), have been busy creating a colourful mural depicting scenes of the area’s mining heritage and the nearby Roman Fort.
The garden also features a memorial garden, a paved area as well as a selection of mosaics and sculptures.
Councillor Lyn Ackerman, cabinet member for the environment, said: “As well as paying back to the community for their past negative behaviour, the young people have also benefitted by learning new skills including art, literacy and numeracy and by channelling their energies into something positive.
“This in itself is a major factor in preventing future offending. I am delighted that the community garden has been so well received by local residents and I hope they will enjoy the benefits the garden will bring for many years to come.”
Amy Thomas, activity skills coordinator for ISSP, said: “The young people are extremely proud of what they have achieved and praise should be given to them for the commitment and dedication to the project. “
The garden was officially opened last week by Caerphilly County Borough Mayor John Evans and Gwent Police Chief Constable Mick Giannasi, who presented the youngsters with certificates of achievement.