The 2019-20 Butler Trust Annual Award Ceremony – our 35th – was due to be held at St. James’s Palace in London on Thursday, 26th March, presided over (as on every occasion since our launch) by our Royal Patron, HRH The Princess Royal.
Sadly, of course, we had to postpone the event, which is normally the highlight of our entire year. Yet the primary task of the Trust and its Awards – to highlight outstanding efforts by those working in prisons, probation, and youth justice – feels even more important than ever under the current circumstances. We’re all aware of the heroic efforts of so many who continue to do what they do best on behalf of us all, but one group is rather more hidden than most – in the case of prison workers, literally behind closed doors – and we wanted to do something to mark the Awards, until we can hold them properly at a later date, not only for our deserving winners, but also to underline the vital contribution they, and all those in criminal justice system, make to the fabric of our national life.
So we decided to hold a ‘virtual Ceremony’ on Twitter (@butlertrust) and through our website – following, as closely as we could, the programme we would have followed if we’d been holding it for real… and, unlike the London Ceremony we planned, all were invited to attend.