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 whose work stand outs 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 Award Ceremony, they are the original, and most prestigious, awards of their kind. And they don’t end with the Ceremony – through our Alumni Programme we also offer all our Award Winners and Commendees training and mentoring to help them learn from, and build upon, their achievements.

Receiving an Award is the highlight of many people’s careers – and although we receive more than 400 nominations each year and 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 are the Awards for?

While everyone working in the sector does an extraordinary job, the Butler Trust Awards are for those who do their jobs extraordinarily well.

They are for people, not projects, and are open to anyone working in UK prisons, IRCs, probation services, youth justice, and prison and detainee escorts.

For more about who the Awards are for, check out details of some of our recent winners

How can I put someone forward?

Anyone can put someone forward for an Award and it’s not difficult:

  • if it is for their work in a custodial establishment (a prison, YOI, IRC, or STC) only, please click here;
  • if it is for their work in any other setting, please click here.

Please don’t leave it too late though – the official deadline for completed nominations is 30 June each year.

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.