The Butler Trust Annual Awards

The people working in UK custodial and community justice settings do truly extraordinary jobs; but they are largely hidden from view, and rarely get any thanks for what they do.

Alongside our #HiddenHeroes campaign, which shines a light on the workforce as a whole, the Butler Trust Awards help give credit where it’s due to those who stand out even among their Hidden Hero colleagues.

What makes the Butler Trust Awards special?

The Butler Trust Awards are the only UK-wide awards specifically for people working in custodial and community justice settings, and are often described as the Oscars for the sector.

Launched in 1985 and presented each year by our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at our annual Award Ceremony, they are the original, and most prestigious, awards of their kind.

And beyond the Ceremony, our Alumni Programme gives our Award Winners and Commendees the chance to reflect on, and build upon, their achievements.

Receiving an Award is the highlight of many people’s careers. And though we can’t give one to everyone, ‘just’ being nominated shows someone their efforts have not gone unnoticed and are appreciated by the people with whom they work.

Who can I put forward and how?

The Awards are open to people working in UK prisons and IRCs, probation and youth justice settings, and prisoner and detainee escorts – whether as a directly employed member of staff, a third-party employee, or a vounteer.

They are for people, not projects – those who excel at what they do, whether that’s on the “front line” or in a supporting role.

Anyone can put someone forward for an Award and it’s not difficult to do. Nominations are open from 1 May to 30 June each year.

For more about the Awards, and who they’re for, check out our recent winners.

What happens next?

All completed nominations are reviewed by our independent Awarding Panel, including current and former senior managers from across the sector, as well as Butler Trust Trustees.

To ensure we do justice to all the nominees, the judging process is thorough and, inevitably, takes time to complete. We normally announce the winners just before Christmas each year.

The Award Ceremony for our Award Winners and Commendees takes place the following March, and regardless of the outcome, we write to all our nominees to congratulate them on being put forward.