Celebrating and promoting the best in UK prisons, probation and youth justice

Jan 1, 2022

ANDREW BLACKMORE (HMP & YOI Woodhill)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: It’s no small thing to be a light-bringer, but that was the concept both his nominator and HMP Woodhill’s Governor reached for when trying to explain what was special about Prison Officer Andrew Blackmore. That there were four separate nominations – including one from the entire group of Prison Mediators – suggests others agree, too. Amid a global pandemic, says Governor Nicola Marfleet, “Andrew shone.” Sharing the same fatigue as everyone and about to go on leave, “he took aboard Woodhill’s Value 3: ‘Don’t complain; contribute.’ So […]
Jan 1, 2022

GRAHAM DUNCAN (HMP Channings Wood)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Graham Duncan has created truly exceptional staff support at HMP Channings Wood – and its wider community – both before and during the COVID pandemic. His initial nominator, Allan McGrattan, Head of Business Assurance, sums up a plethora of powerful testimonials for the “self-effacing” Graham: “an exemplar of compassion for others, dedicated to their support and wellbeing. The epitome of the very best of human nature for everyone who has benefitted from his transformational values.” [This Award is supported by the Prison Officers Association.]
Jan 1, 2022

LES EGAN (HMP & YOI Hatfield)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Les Egan is a Custodial Manager at HMP/YOI Hatfield, now in his fortieth year in the Prison Service, and is, says nominator Emma Robinson, “an inspiration to all. His enthusiasm, commitment, drive and determination knows no bounds and has never faded.” He’s made a difference to the lives of thousands of prisoners, not least securing hundreds of paid employment opportunities with major employers. Today, he’s still bringing his passion for prisoners to make better lives for themselves to his work, still giving advice and supporting charities, and […]
Jan 1, 2022

NATHAN GREWAL (HMP & YOI Brinsford)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Nathan Grewal is a Band 3 Prison Officer at HMP Brinsford and receives an Award for successfully tackling one of the toughest, most intractable, and deeply problematic issues whether inside prisons or out: gangs. [This Award is supported by Serco Justice Services.]
Jan 1, 2022

MATT HILLARD (HMP & YOI Cardiff)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Even in the best of times, this sector is full of remarkable stories; in Covid times they became more remarkable still. We captured many in our recently published Hidden Heroes in the Pandemic, and there are several more among our winners – including Matt Hillard. His almost incredible response to HMP Cardiff’s lockdown was to create a television station from scratch. From learning how to set it up to producing thoughtful content, Knox TV has been a hit. And Matt did all this while juggling the needs […]
Jan 1, 2022

CHRIS MACINNES (HMP & YOI Isis)

AWARD WINNER 2021-22: Next year, Chris MacInnes will have spent twenty years as a highly regarded Prison Officer, half of them at HMP/YOI Isis – where his colleagues clearly can’t get enough of him. Yet Chris is so unassuming, says Line Manager Nandini Handa, that having “unanimously” decided to award him their 2019 Spirit of Isis Award, they had to hatch “a cunning plan” to get him to the ceremony “because he always volunteers to cover patrol!” They then “had to come up with a prize that only he would […]
Jan 1, 2022

TALHA AHMED (HMP Liverpool)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: Talha Ahmed has spent twenty years working in the prison service and now heads the Chaplaincy Team at HMP Liverpool. The depth and width of Talha’s experience, and a life of dedicated effort, is such that he richly informs many lives. He delivers, says initial nominator and Liverpool Head of Security, James Winrow, “a first-class service”. His work, whether in front of many, or working with one man at a time, leads to often intangible benefits that are nevertheless enjoyed by colleagues, offenders, and the community at large. […]
Jan 1, 2022

EVE BROTZEL (HMP & YOI Pentonville)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: Eve Brotzel is a Speech and Language Therapist working with men at HMP Pentonville who have autism, learning disabilities, brain injury, and communication difficulties. “Eve injects hope into Pentonville every day,” says Governor Ian Blakeman. She improves vulnerable lives – and those of staff, too, through her commitment to better understanding. Dr Natasha Sarkissian says: “Eve is magic, except the results she helps us to achieve aren’t magic – they’re the result of hard work and dedication helping some of the most vulnerable prisoners we have in our […]
Jan 1, 2022

DANIEL CRAWLEY (HMP Liverpool)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: In the eyes of his colleagues, Prison Officer Danny Crawley is characterised by an impressive and powerful combination of calm and courage. Again and again, they praise his ability to create calm – while staying calm under pressure – alongside his courage in walking towards the kind of trouble most of us walk away from.
Jan 1, 2022

ANN DONNELLON (HMP & YOI Preston)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: Ann Donnellion is a Custodial Manager, Commended for her transformational work on her wing during COVID. But throughout Ann’s 15 years in the Service, says her Line Manager Kirsten Heys, in every role, her professionalism and “absolute passion” to deliver have shone through. Her winning work offers a superb case study in tackling a widespread issue: lots of new staff joining experienced but exhausted officers while suddenly coping with a global pandemic. The estate has done an incredible job here, and Ann’s work reflects that national story like […]
Jan 1, 2022

GEMMA GRAHAME-WRIGHT (HMP Grendon)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: ‘Omar’ (name changed) is one of no less than twenty-one separate nominations for Gemma Grahame-Wright’s work in HMP Grendon’s therapeutic community. He starts by calling her “outstanding, inspirational and exemplary”, then adds “friendly, inclusive and non-judgemental,” and keeps going: “patient, good-humoured and thoughtful…legendary.” He says her work changed residents’ “negative attitudes to the police, probation, and prison staff in general,” as a result of her “quiet professionalism, her personal integrity…common humanity and old-fashioned decency.”
Jan 1, 2022

ALICE JAMES (HMYOI Werrington)

COMMENDEE 2021-22: When word got round that Alice James was being nominated, says Werrington’s Head of Enhanced Services Trevor Taylor, he was “inundated by messages of support and colleagues wanting to make commendations.” Next year Alice will be able to look back a quarter of a century to when she first started at Werrington – a lifetime of work during which she progressed from a Prison Officer to a Governor. The warmth and regard of the many colleagues and teenage boys whose lives she has influenced for the better is […]
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