Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary yesterday, Thursday, visited a Derbyshire rehabilitation farm to see the pioneering work they are doing in helping ex-offenders turn their backs on a life of crime.
Labour’s Andy Burnham visited Rhubarb Farm in Langwith at the invitation of Labour’s PCC candidate for Derbyshire, Hardyal Dhindsa, who is calling for more recognition of the work that the farm and other Derbyshire community projects do in supporting local people rebuild their lives.
During their visit to the farm, Andy and Hardyal met with staff, volunteers and ex-offenders to hear first-hand how the project is helping local people make a fresh start.
The current Derbyshire PCC, Alan Charles and his Deputy for the last three years, Hardyal Dhindsa, through the Commissioner’s office, have recently funded a part-time volunteer post, new training cabin and a private office/meeting space, which has enabled the farm to run more courses for former offenders and service users.
Hardyal hopes that the visit will have given Andy a real sense of the important role that community enterprise projects can have in the rehabilitation of ex-offenders and former substance users.
Speaking after the visit, Hardyal said: “I was pleased that Andy accepted my invitation to come along and visit Rhubarb Farm and see first-hand the fantastic work done there by everyone involved in the project.
“Since its beginning Rhubarb Farm has grown enormously, not just in size, but also in the way it is supporting local people who have made a commitment to turn their lives around and make a fresh start in the local community.
“I’ve visited the Farm on many occasions and I am pleased to have supported its further development with funding through the Commissioner’s office.
“The value of community rehabilitation is quite clear to see and I am committed to ensuring that projects like this right across Derbyshire are given the support and recognition they need to continue providing this vital service.”
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, Andy Burnham MP, said: “I was delighted to accept Hardyal’s invitation to visit Rhubarb Farm and see the brilliant work they do there in supporting local people who are trying to turn their lives around.
“Rhubarb Farm is a real credit to the staff and volunteers who work so tirelessly in helping others in their local community. It was a real privilege for me to hear their stories first-hand and to see the amazing work that they do there.
“I know that, with his experience and first-hand knowledge of the role of Police and Crime Commissioner gained by working alongside the current PCC, Hardyal will make an excellent Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire and will continue to support Rhubarb Farm and other community projects right across the county.”