YOUNG offenders have been working together to help other youngsters during their half term.

Nine young offenders working with Swindon’s Youth Offending Team have come together to create six artistic pieces to help raise money to support other young people.

They plan to sell the artwork at auction to raise money to donate to Young Carers.

Kevin Leaning, head of the Youth Offending Team based in Stratton, said: “Nine of our young offenders have thrown themselves into this art project with enthusiasm, and are keen to see how much money will be raised at the charity auction coming up in March.

“Young Carers are children and young people up to the age of 18, whose lives are affected by looking after someone who may have physical or learning disabilities, long-term illness, mental health problems, or misuse drugs or alcohol. They might be a parent, brother, sister or other family member.

“This project helps reinforce opportunities for young people to make a positive contribution, which in turn helps to reassure the public that the vast majority of young offenders are capable of changing their behaviour.”

This Is Wiltshire:

  • Youth offending officer Karen Sercombe admires the art

The youngsters designed the artwork and developed the skills needed to create a piece good enough to go to the auction in March.

The proceeds they get from the auction will go towards the charity, Young Carers, which supports other youngsters who in turn support other people who may have a disability or suffer with serious issues.

The youngsters spent five days during half term working on the pieces.

Kevin said: “Working for five days on the project also gave the staff an opportunity to carry out informal discussions around offending behaviour and around the goals and aspirations of the young people we had with us. It also created awareness of young carers and the issues they have to face.

“The young people involved in the project now have a better understanding of what young carers do and what they may experience.”

This Is Wiltshire:

  • Taking in one of the items to be sold

The Youth Offending Team helps young people face up to the impact of their negative behaviour on their community, and recognise how their behaviour has been harmful.

The project to create something to auction for Young Carers provided an opportunity for the young offenders to learn about the difficulties other youngsters their own age could face.