About the Awards
[Note: Local Champions please go to the Local Champions Area.]
People working in correctional settings rarely get any recognition for the good work so many of them do. The Butler Trust Awards help give credit where it’s due to staff, volunteers and partners working in UK prisons, probation, and community and youth justice settings.
Launched in 1985, our Awards were the first for people working in the sector, and are generally considered the most prestigious of their kind. We receive around 350 nominations each year, from across the UK, from which we grant around 10 Awards and 20 Commendations.
The Awards and Commendations are presented by HRH The Princess Royal, at our Annual Award Ceremony, normally held in either Buckingham Palace or St James’s Palace.
Beyond the Award Ceremony, our Awards Winners and Commendees are offered places on our Development Programme, to help them learn from and build upon their achievements.
And though we can only give Awards and Commendations to a small proportion of those nominated, a further 50-or so nominees receive Butler Trust Certificates (a third tier of recognition), and just being nominated is an achievement in itself and shows that someone’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Making a Nomination
Anyone can make a nomination. Most nominations come from people’s colleagues, but we also get many from offenders and from people working in partner agencies. If you know someone who goes above and beyond, help us give credit where it’s due and make a nomination!
Who can I nominate and for what?
Awards and Commendations are given to people for outstanding work which “goes above and beyond” what might normally be expected of them. They are for people not projects, and may be given to someone for doing something new or innovative, or “just” for doing their ordinary job extraordinarily well.
You can nominate anyone working in prisons, probation, community and youth justice across the UK (staff, volunteers and partner employees) – this includes ex-offenders, but not someone awaiting trial, serving a sentence or on licence. And you can nominate an individual or two or more people jointly – though please note Awards are rarely given to more than four people together.
How can I make a nomination?
To make a nomination, please complete an initial nomination form, explaining why you think the person (or people) concerned deserves the national recognition of a Butler Trust Award. [Download a form.]
The nomination form contains additional guidance about the Awards. You may also find it helpful to look at our Winners listing to find out about some of our most recent Award Winners and Commendees.
Please do NOT send your initial nomination directly to us. The nomination form shows who you should send it to. They will then arrange for some additional supporting documentation to be completed to help us in our deliberations.
When should I make my nomination?
Nominations can be submitted at any time but the cut-off for each Annual Awards cycle is the 30 June each year. To allow time for the additional supporting documentation to be collated, please complete your nomination by the end of May if possible.
Judging the Awards
To ensure we do justice to all the nominations we receive, the judging process is thorough and, inevitably, takes time to complete.
Our Sifting Panel reviews all the nominations to prepare a shortlist of around 40 from the original 350+, and these are then reviewed in more detail by our final Judging Panel. Both panels include representatives of our Trustees, together with current and former senior managers from prisons, probation and youth justice.