Community work offender painting WOMAD signSetting up fencing, pop-up tents and recycling stations are some of the things community offenders are doing to help with this year’s WOMAD festival in New Plymouth.

The offenders are managed by Community Corrections and are completing their court-ordered community work sentences in the Bowl of Brooklands under the guidance of community work supervisors and event management.

“WOMAD is a good opportunity for offenders to give back to the community,” says Philip Edwards, Service Manager, New Plymouth Community Corrections.

“As well as doing something positive and contributing to an event that attracts people from all over the world, they’re also increasing their skills and working collaboratively.”

One of the tasks involves painting the instantly recognisable colourful WOMAD letters.

Other tasks include unloading containers, erecting arches, signs, fencing, pop up tents, and other general supportive work.

Community work teams from New Plymouth and Taranaki (Stratford) have been helping out since Wednesday 8 March.

When the festival ends, the community work teams will be back on site helping with the site pack up. Across the two weeks, around 115 offenders will have been involved in the project.

Corrections has a long-standing relationship with WOMAD festival organisers: in previous years offenders serving a community work sentence have been involved with the set up and pack-down of the festival site. These offenders are not paid for their involvement as they are instructed to attend as part of their sentence.