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Notts use full CricketForce of the law

Trent Bridge

Nottinghamshire's Trent Bridge home will benfit from a spring clean as part of a CricketForce project involving offenders

Nottinghamshire are giving criminals the opportunity to further their rehabilitation as part of a novel NatWest CricketForce scheme at Trent Bridge.

The county will be among the first to carry out their own CricketForce improvements as it continues to work with the local probationary services.

Kent, who last year repaired parts of the St Lawrence Ground, are the only other county to have taken part in the annual weekend that encourages communities to repair facilities at the local clubs.

This year Yorkshire’s outground, Scarborough CC, is one of three showcase projects.

However, Notts will be the first to enlist offenders to spruce up their home ground in one of a number of similar initiatives run by the the county.

Trent Bridge community sport trust manager Tracey Francis told ecb.co.uk: “We are working with probationary services in Nottinghamshire to do a number of projects, and this is about getting offenders back into the workplace and giving them volunteering opportunities and work placement opportunities.

“The event we’re doing at Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club is basically our own CricketForce, where we’re preparing our ground ready for the season.

“We work with the unpaid work team, which is actually what we call the community payback team - the people you see on the sides of streets with the ‘high-vis’ vests on.

“We have a number of projects we’re going to do with them, things like wiping down all of the seats, painting areas within the ground, doing some work on the wicket etc.

“There will probably be four gangs of 10 people working throughout the week commencing March 22, the week before the CricketForce weekend.

“It’s linked up to another scheme that we’ve done which is around NVQ Two for stewarding. We trained 12 people last year from probationary services in stewarding, and this is part of the overall offer we’ve got with probationary services.”

Francis explained how the county’s partnership with Nottinghamshire Probationary Service came about.

“They originally approached us about a year ago asking what we could do for them and what we could do with them and work with them,” she added.

“So we came up with a number of projects and CricketForce was one of those projects that we thought would be an ideal opportunity.

“There was CricketForce, there was stewarding and there was also using people from probationary services as mentors for young people who are at risk of social exclusion.

“It was really our idea. We thought, ‘wouldn’t this be great to do CricketForce at Trent Bridge and actually use the probationary services to deliver that on our behalf?’.”