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HILARY KEARNS (Probation Board of Northern Ireland; PBNI)

HILARY KEARNS (Probation Board of Northern Ireland; PBNI)

COMMENDEE 2013-14: Administrative Officer: for dedication and skill in supporting probation staff, both practically and emotionally, in their work with offenders. 

Hilary Kearns has been given a Butler Trust Commendation for ‘going above and beyond’ her role of Administrative Officer at the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI). Colleagues past and present wished to highlight the impact she has had across the organisation, where she supports Probation Officers, Managers, community service staff and cleaning staff.

In this pressurised environment, Hilary gives both practical and emotional support to the team, while dealing with clients with respect and dignity, and demonstrates ‘a sensitivity and firmness to be admired by any Probation Officer or Manager’, according to Area Manager, Joan Graham. Known as approachable and constructive, she has proved to be sensitive and engaging with service users, partner organisations and key stakeholders, furthering the aims of PBNI.

As a lone worker, Hilary was the victim of threats and virtual imprisonment in the office from a dangerous ex-prisoner, but ‘remained calm and worked through practical options to assist the man.’ Further clues to Hilary’s character are revealed by her response to files and equipment being lost when the office where she worked was burned to the ground during a spate of political unrest. Rebuilding the files for Probation Officers to continue managing their varied caseloads, Hilary jumped at the opportunity to contribute to the development and implementation of an electronic case management system, now called the Probation Information Management System.

Not content with becoming familiar with the new system, ‘she took the reporting of Key Performance Measures to a new level and set an example for teams across PBNI which has been followed by operational and administrative staff alike,’ says Head of Communications, Gail McGreevy. ‘Hilary was, as ever, keen to share her learning and improve service delivery for PBNI.’

With words like competent, committed, diligent, sensitive and supportive used frequently by her colleagues, Hilary is credited with providing a secure backbone against which the team can operate. As her Area Manager says, she is ‘the calibre of staff member which PBNI should be proud of’.


For more information: contact PBNI

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