Celebrating and promoting the best in UK prisons, probation and youth justice

Jan 1, 2022

ANDREW BLACKMORE (HMP & YOI Woodhill)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: It’s no small thing to be a light-bringer, but that was the concept both his nominator and HMP Woodhill’s Governor reached for when trying to explain what was special about Prison Officer Andrew Blackmore. That there were four separate nominations – including one from the entire group of Prison Mediators – suggests others agree, too. Amid a global pandemic, says Governor Nicola Marfleet, “Andrew shone.” Sharing the same fatigue as everyone and about to go on leave, “he took aboard Woodhill’s Value 3: ‘Don’t complain; contribute.’ So […]
Jan 1, 2022

GRAHAM DUNCAN (HMP Channings Wood)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Graham Duncan has created truly exceptional staff support at HMP Channings Wood – and its wider community – both before and during the COVID pandemic. His initial nominator, Allan McGrattan, Head of Business Assurance, sums up a plethora of powerful testimonials for the “self-effacing” Graham: “an exemplar of compassion for others, dedicated to their support and wellbeing. The epitome of the very best of human nature for everyone who has benefitted from his transformational values.” [This Award is supported by the Prison Officers Association.]
Jan 1, 2022

LES EGAN (HMP & YOI Hatfield)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Les Egan is a Custodial Manager at HMP/YOI Hatfield, now in his fortieth year in the Prison Service, and is, says nominator Emma Robinson, “an inspiration to all. His enthusiasm, commitment, drive and determination knows no bounds and has never faded.” He’s made a difference to the lives of thousands of prisoners, not least securing hundreds of paid employment opportunities with major employers. Today, he’s still bringing his passion for prisoners to make better lives for themselves to his work, still giving advice and supporting charities, and […]
Jan 1, 2022

NATHAN GREWAL (HMP & YOI Brinsford)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Nathan Grewal is a Band 3 Prison Officer at HMP Brinsford and receives an Award for successfully tackling one of the toughest, most intractable, and deeply problematic issues whether inside prisons or out: gangs. [This Award is supported by Serco Justice Services.]
Jan 1, 2022

MATT HILLARD (HMP & YOI Cardiff)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Even in the best of times, this sector is full of remarkable stories; in Covid times they became more remarkable still. We captured many in our recently published Hidden Heroes in the Pandemic, and there are several more among our winners – including Matt Hillard. His almost incredible response to HMP Cardiff’s lockdown was to create a television station from scratch. From learning how to set it up to producing thoughtful content, Knox TV has been a hit. And Matt did all this while juggling the needs […]
Jan 1, 2022

CHRIS MACINNES (HMP & YOI Isis)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Next year, Chris MacInnes will have spent twenty years as a highly regarded Prison Officer, half of them at HMP/YOI Isis – where his colleagues clearly can’t get enough of him. Yet Chris is so unassuming, says Line Manager Nandini Handa, that having “unanimously” decided to award him their 2019 Spirit of Isis Award, they had to hatch “a cunning plan” to get him to the ceremony “because he always volunteers to cover patrol!” They then “had to come up with a prize that only he would […]
Jan 1, 2022

SHONA PATE (HMP Edinburgh)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Shona Pate manages HMP Edinburgh’s Visitor Centre and when Covid-19 hit Scotland and  closed the centre, she did something remarkable. She knew how important visits were, especially for already vulnerable families who would feel even more isolated – so she decided to take the visitor centre to them… [This Award is supported by MTC.]
Jan 1, 2022

VICKY WALTON (North East National Probation Service)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Vicky Walton’s outstanding work as a Probation Service Officer in Middlesbrough is recognised widely by colleagues throughout Cleveland, says Senior Probation Officer Debbie Rennie – and farther afield, too, citing an example of Vicky’s work that so impressed HMIP it has now become part of the National Effective Practice guide disseminated nationally to the Probation Service. [This Award is supported by Interventions Alliance.]
Jan 1, 2022

JULIE WILLIAMS (HMP & YOI Parc)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Julie has spent almost a decade in Invisible Walls Wales team at HMP/YOI Parc and been instrumental joining up prisoners, families, and schools. Calling her “a shining exemplar”, Parc Director Janet Wallsgrove says Julie, as ‘Schools and Prisons Family Coordinator, is “now in a pivotal position to break new and vitally important ground within prison reform.” [This Award is supported by The Hanley Trust.]
Jan 1, 2022

PAUL WOOD (West Sussex Youth Offending Team)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: The accolades from both colleagues and the young people Paul Wood works with on reparation all agree: he’s “the real thing”. Over his twenty-year career, he’s become that rare person who reminds people of the essence of why they do the job. Described as “enthusiastic”, “tireless”, “creative”, “committed”, and “passionate”, these words don’t quite do him justice, though. As the father of one young man says “it’s beyond words what Paul does.” Yet in West Sussex, the heart and soul he brings to his work is widely […]
Jan 1, 2022

TALHA AHMED (HMP Liverpool)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: Talha Ahmed has spent twenty years working in the prison service and now heads the Chaplaincy Team at HMP Liverpool. The depth and width of Talha’s experience, and a life of dedicated effort, is such that he richly informs many lives. He delivers, says initial nominator and Liverpool Head of Security, James Winrow, “a first-class service”. His work, whether in front of many, or working with one man at a time, leads to often intangible benefits that are nevertheless enjoyed by colleagues, offenders, and the community at large. […]
Jan 1, 2022

SHARON ARNOLD (Oakhill Secure Training Centre)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: This is why ‘M’, a teenage boy in custody at Oakhill Secure Training Centre, wanted to nominate Residential Manager Sharon Arnold:
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