The Awards are presented by our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, and help give credit where it’s due to people who go above and beyond in their work in prisons, probation and youth justice settings (including volunteers and third-party employees) – and just being nominated shows someone’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.
The 2017-18 Butler Trust Award Winners and Commendees have just been announced. The Awards once again reflect some of the best – and often very moving – examples of the dedication, skill, and creativity found throughout the criminal justice system. Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Patron of the Trust, will present our Winners with their Awards and Commendations at our Award Ceremony, to be held later in the year.
After a summer spent reviewing and rating the 300+ nominations received for this year’s Award Scheme, our volunteer Sifting Panel met at the end of September to agree the shortlist to go through to the final stage of judging for the 2017-18 Butler Trust Awards.
The standard was as high as ever and the decision-making as difficult as always – but after much deliberation, the Sifting Panel agreed to put through a final shortlist of 43 nominations.
After the success of last year’s Prison Officer Summer School at Cambridge University, which brought together front line staff and world-leading academics in the prisons field, to share their knowledge and experience with one another, the Butler Trust ran a follow up event in August, at the University of Oxford.
Last year’s event led, among other things, to changes in POELT training, the introduction of mentoring for new staff, and a review of training and development for existing staff. This year’s event brought together 117 officers, with over 1150 years of experience between them, and representing over 95% of the custodial estate in England and Wales, to build on last year and drill down in more detail into: how to recruit, train and support staff better; and how to hold on to, and get the most out of, more experienced staff.
After a turbulent year for the sector, it is a pleasure – and a highly positive comment on those working on the frontline – to report that nominations for the 2017-2018 Butler Trust Awards have equalled the record-breaking nominations seen last year. Once again, there has been an impressive range of nominations by prisoners, accounting for over a quarter of all prison nominations. We have also seen a very high number of nominations from probation, in particular from the National Probation Service.
These results are a reminder that, for all the negative headlines that dominate the media, there is an extraordinary amount of generally unsung and extremely positive work going on. It is work that gets noticed and appreciated by colleagues and offenders alike, however, and so a Butler Trust nomination is a chance to acknowledge someone making a real difference to people’s lives.