Celebrating and promoting the best in UK prisons, probation and youth justice
Although Spring took her time turning up, she arrived in some style – with the early-May Bank Holiday the warmest since the holiday began in 1978. With the World Cup getting closer, temperatures climbing, and long Midsummer nights, we started to wonder if the famous – in our office, anyway – last minute rush of nominations would happen this year. England were headed for the Round of 16 by the time our deadline was reached and once more, you did us proud: cheering along the best and brightest people working around you, from all four corners of the kingdom, you only went and broke the record for the most nominations ever – 383 in total!
Now you might think that with the difficulties in the sector over recent years, a lot of deep experience leaving the game, and a large influx of new recruits coming on board, that this would dent your enthusiasm for looking around at what your co-workers and team mates are up to, nodding approvingly as you notice the people doing the really good stuff, day in, day out. But as our Director, Simon Shepherd, never tires of pointing out: you are not like other professions. You get little praise in public (which was why we were set up in the first place), and no matter what happens, you still come in to work the next day and start over again. So thank you, once more. Without your support, the nominations – and the Awards – would never happen.
Prisoners are surely experts when it comes to having opinions and commentary – not least about those looking after them. Once again, they made a large number of nominations. Youth justice, too, has made a record number of nominations, and probation staff were well-represented as ever. It’s not just experienced hands; a lot of the nominations were for more recent recruits: it’s almost as if we’re seeing the beginning of an outstanding new generation at work, keen to perform really well – not least for the older players they look up to. They seem to have brought something fresh and hopeful to the table (whether that’s Subbuteo or the ones in the canteen). It’s all rather remarkable.
Here’s just a small sample of the praise being heaped on colleagues in the nominations. Over the rest of the summer and autumn, our office and the 19 members of our volunteer Awarding Panel will have the difficult but rewarding task of going through each and every nomination to find the very best of the best to receive Awards and Commendations from HRH The Princess Royal. Follow our progress on Twitter @ButlerTrust as we head towards the sifting, longlisting, shortlisting and judging panels that will lead to next year’s Butler Trust Awards.
“she’s let me feel respected and comfortable as a disabled person”
“she really is the best at what she does”
“an officer who prisoners trust and can go to for almost anything”
“there are people you meet in life who make a positive impact on people”
“his good sense and good humour were of huge value to me in my first year as a Prison Officer”
“enthusiastic and with boundless passion”
“I don’t think she realises the impact she’s had on me”
“one of the best Probation Officers you have…not only has he kept me on the straight and narrow, he’s helped me find myself again”
“nothing is too much trouble for her and you feel she has your back”
“these two have improved the quality of life for all the prisoners in their care”
“we all respect them for how they treat us and we would not break that trust”