A MEETING is being held in Ramsbottom this week to attract volunteers to a community-led restorative justice project aimed at changing offenders’ lives.

Rebecca Green, national development manager at Redeeming Our Communities (ROC), is looking to recruit volunteers for the scheme.

ROC Restore, a project in which volunteers conduct meetings betw-een victims and perpetrators to find a solution, is already up and runn-ing in Bury, in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police and Bury Council.

But more helpers are needed to expand the scheme.

Rebecca said: “It is truly amazing to see victims of crime brought together with the perpetrators to add- ress some of the concerns. Crime can break communities apart.

“For me, it’s a fantastic project and I am delighted to be working with GMP to help the community to help themselves.

“We want to train community members to hold their own rest-orative justice meetings.

“Dealing with issues in the comm-unity can bring healing and change to their lives for the long term.”

She added that restorative justice was not a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’, saying it can help some people to deal with issues together, rather than needing police intervention in the future.

Restorative justice hearings will be held when referrals are made by the police, Bury Council, and other agencies, and can be worked around volunteers’ availability.

Some can take several hours, and others may last months.

Criminals are 33per cent less lik-ely to continue offending on release from prison after restorative justice than without it, a report has claimed.

People interested in getting inv-olved are encouraged to attend Ramsbottom Pentecostal Church, in Carr Street, Ramsbottom, on Wed-nesday, between 7pm and 9pm.

People can register their interest by emailing sheenaruston@roc.uk. com Alternatively, people can call 07935 987387.