Reparation simply means repairing or making amends for a wrong or harm that has been done.


A young person, between the ages of 10 – 18 years, may be awarded this order by a youth court. Dependent upon the type of crime and the young person’s history of offending, this can take the form of:


  • Standard order which requires a period of between 5 – 30 hours of work in the community
  • Conditional Caution from the police for between 5 – 15 hours of work for the younger, first time offender
  • Unpaid Work order for between 40 – 240 hours based on more regular work-experience types of activity for offenders, aged between 16-17 years with a history of repeated offending


Young offenders can say sorry for their offending behaviour by giving something back either directly – to an individual, a group or an organisation – or indirectly to their local community – the aim with all forms of reparation is to reduce the chance of the young person re-offending.


The YMCA’s Reparation Service’s key aims are:


  • To provide locally based opportunities to enable young offenders to engage with in their community.
  • To consider the diverse needs of young people in delivering activities which will provide them with a personal challenge whilst experiencing positive new learning opportunities
  • To consider the needs of victims and communities and ensure that activities raise the young person’s awareness of the impact of their behaviour


We currently work at 10 different activity venues across Cambridgeshire offering young people the opportunity to engage in a diverse range of work eg. woodskills sessions, gardening, painting and decorating etc. in a variety of settings eg. schools, churches, cemeteries, community halls, supported housing etc.


In an average month the YMCA Reparation Service will:


  • Work with up to 33 young people between the ages of 10 – 18 years
  • Receive 22 new young people referrals from the Cambridgeshire Youth Offending Service have supported and helped 18 young people complete their order
  • Schedule 42 sessions of reparation
  • Complete work at 10 different activity venues across the county.


This service is commissioned by the Cambridgeshire County Council Youth Offending Service.


Facts and statistics


  • 84% of clients stated that it has made them think about their offence
  • 73% of clients stated that it has prevented them from committing further crime
  • 65% of clients that it has made them change their behaviour
  • 79% of clients stated in their evaluation forms that they found the activity challenging and purposeful
  • 62% of clients stated that they have learned new skills
  • 100% stakeholders providing feedback stated they were happy with the service they received


Have you been inspired to join us as a Reparation Service volunteer? If so please visit our Reparation Activity volunteer page or contact the Reparation Activities Coordinator on 07837268556 or email for more information.


Case Study


‘We have established an excellent working relationship with Hinchingbrooke Country Park since the YMCA Reparation Service began in 2012 and it is scheduled as an activity venue on Sundays throughout the year.

The young people completing their reparation hours helping the park rangers with pathway maintenance and reconstruction, fence/gate maintenance, the cutting and storage of willow and logs as well as completing the essential site checks (eg. ensuring buoyancy aids are in place near the lake, etc) and litter picking around the play area and visitor centre.

Sessions at the park are supervised by skilled and experienced sessional staff and volunteer assistants who ensure that the young people are trained in the safe use of a range of tools and equipment on site.’