Our work is recognised by the Butler Trust Awards

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David Gamble

THE innovation and dedication of four staff members of the Reducing Reoffending Partnership (RRP) and a peer mentor volunteer has been recognised by this year’s national Butler Trust Awards, which highlights the outstanding working practice of people within the Criminal Justice System.

Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire & Rutland Community Rehabilitation Company (DLNR CRC) colleague David Gamble, volunteer co-ordinator for a Leicester-based partnership project, has been shortlisted for an award and will be interviewed by the judging panel in London later in November.

Every year Butler Trust grants 20 commendations as well as 10 awards that are presented by their royal patron, HRH The Princess Royal, at the annual award ceremony. In 2016 the charity received more than 300 entries and has reduced the final selection to just 40.

IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

Probation Practitioner Daryl Martinson is being considered for a commendation following the development of her women’s arts and craft group that she established more than two years ago at the Ilkeston probation office in Derbyshire.

Staffordshire & West Midlands CRC’s Michael Gordon, volunteer and mentoring lead, with SWM staff member Pauline Miller-Brown, resettlement unit manager at HMP Oakwood, and a DLNR CRC peer mentor have also been selected for Butler Trust certificates.

Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon

They have each been awarded a certificate as their submissions went through to the first round of judging, but were not put forward to the final shortlist.

Chief Executive Catherine Holland will acknowledge the achievements of staff members and our peer mentor at the Excellence Awards in January 2017.

UNDERSTANDING THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS

Potential award winner – David Gamble, volunteer co-ordinator

Established in the autumn of 2014, Advance to Go is a three year project that is being funded by the local Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire and Rutland. The project works with some of the most difficult and hard to reach service users in Leicester and the surrounding county.

Many of the cases are homeless, unemployed, have experienced or have current mental health problems, substance abuse issues, and have little or no family support. Participants are expected to be with the project for up to 12 months.

David explains: “you can never describe this work as a nine-to-five job. I believe that people can change with the right support and encouragement. Advance to Go has become my mission in life. I am the face they see as the prison gates open and they leave custody.”

Potential commendation winner – Daryl Martinson, probation practitioner

Members of her arts and craft group have tackled projects that have not only been therapeutic, but have built up their self esteem, team spirit and feelings of empathy for the homeless.

Highlights include:

* selling their handmade Christmas decorations at a probation conference to raise funds to compile basic toiletry kits for homeless service users,

* taking part in a sponsored walk and raising £189 for a charity that supports victims of domestic violence,

* producing a montage of personal pictures showing their progress towards wellbeing for the Koestler Trust’s national art competition. Their entry was commended by the judges.

Daryl comments: “passion may seem a strong word to use, but I do passionately believe that we are more successful in achieving the aims of our supervision if we make the effort to adapt our approach to the learning style of individual service users – and we seek to acknowledge their progress.”

Butler Trust certificate holder – Michael Gordon, volunteer and mentoring lead

Michael says: “my new role was a fantastic opportunity, but it came with huge responsibilities. I knew that for the next 12 months I would have to give the work everything but when you believe in something, you do give a 100 percent. I knew that these volunteering schemes could only improve our rehabilitative work with service users and that ultimately means men and women rebuilding their lives and turning away from offending.”

Butler Trust certificate holder – peer mentor ‘Kate’ (Her name has been changed)

Training and working as a volunteer peer mentor has enabled ‘Kate’ to reconnect and reclaim her life again after completing a prison sentence in June 2014. She has an incredible impact on service users because she is prepared to be completely honest, and share her experiences in regard to the physical and emotional trauma that she has suffered in the past

‘Kate’ states: “people respond to what they can feel is real. My aim is to motivate service users as they engage with the DLNR CRC. Talking about what you, personally, have been through can be emotionally draining, but worthwhile because I see people start to take notice and ask questions.”

Butler Trust certificate holder – Pauline Miller-Brown, resettlement unit manager at HMP Oakwood

Extract from submission: ‘HMP Oakwood has 1500 prisoners but this number is expected to increase to 2000. Pauline was instrumental in settling up the resettlement unit. Pauline’s leadership is unique.

‘She is a strong character and has high expectations in terms of performance, values and in the behaviour of team members. She delivers consistently strong outcomes particularly around accommodation on release. Pauline is a great representative of the CRC and uses her existing network and relationships to great advantage.’