On Thursday 26 March, the Butler Trust held a virtual Award Ceremony for this year’s winners which included Alice Burrows and Sarah Viner from London CRC. There will be an in-person event held at a later date, but the Trust felt it was important to celebrate those working in prisons, probation and youth justice in the current climate.
Explaining, The Butler Trust said: ‘We’re all aware of the heroic efforts of so many who continue to do what they do best on behalf of us all, but one group is rather more hidden than most – in the case of prison workers, literally behind closed doors – and we wanted to do something to mark the Awards, until we can hold them properly at a later date, not only for our deserving winners, but also to underline the vital contribution they, and all those in criminal justice system, make to the fabric of our national life.’
The virtual ceremony was held on the Butler Trust’s twitter, following as closely as possible the scheduled programme. Chair of the Trustees, Malcolm Butler, said ‘We are reminded by the absence of today’s scheduled event that offender management can never be absent in its role – it is on the frontline, where it has always been – and always will be.’
The Butler Trust’s Royal Patron, HRH The Princess Royal gave some remarks, saying ‘the dedication, skill and resilience of the men and women who work in [prisons, probation offices and youth justice settings] is consistently impressive,’ adding that she should ‘like to pay tribute to each and every one of them as they continue to serve, on all our behalves, at this difficult time.’
Alice Burrows (Senior Probation Practitioner) and Sarah Viner (Senior Probation Officer) from London CRC were announced as two of the 10 winners this year, before messages from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Trevor Booking, The Rt. Hon. Lord Woolf and Terry Waite CBE were shared. The Archbishop of Canterbury noted that “We measure a civilisation by the way it treats those who don’t matter to it. Every human being has an intrinsic dignity… you show the value of a civilisation by the way you seek imaginatively to care for them… what you do is absolutely invaluable.’
Further messages were shared from the Secretary of State for Justice Rt Hon Robert Buckland QC, Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice Lucy Frazer QC and CEO of HM Prison and Probation Service Jo Farrar.
Messages of support were shared across social media, using the hashtag #HiddenHeroes. The physical ceremony will be held with HRH The Princess Royal at a later date.