Press release: Probation Champion and Prison Officer of the Year 2018 Awards

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Press release: Probation Champion and Prison Officer of the Year 2018 Awards

The annual Prison Officer of the Year and Probation Awards celebrate those extraordinary individuals who put in the extra dedication, passion and understanding to their jobs to ultimately change lives.

There are 7 categories in both awards, plus a Team of the Year Award and a Lifetime Achievement Award. These all look to reward those with outstanding achievements in areas such as public safety, changing lives, and staff support.

Both the Probation and Prison Officer of the Year Awards were handed out by Rory Stewart, Minister for Prisons, Probation and Sentencing.

The Probation Awards 2018

Anna Whateley from the Bristol team was given the overall title of Probation Champion of the Year on Wednesday. Anna’s described as being proactive, diligent and thorough, as well as being patient, kind and compassionate.

She was nominated by her manager for her positive influence to the service, playing an instrumental role in both mentoring new staff and shaping new victims’ services in the South West and South Central division.

On winning her award, Anna said:

It feels absolutely amazing. To be a category winner was enough but to be the champion, especially alongside all the other winners tonight? Stunned.

Talking about why he chose Anna, Michael Spurr, HMPPS Chief Executive Officer said:

Anna is an extraordinary victim liaison officer whose compassion and professionalism is inspirational. She goes well beyond what is required and is a champion for probation in all she does.

Probation Champion and Prison Officer of the Year 2018 Awards

The category winners were:

  • Team of the Year: Hackney Women’s Team London CRC
  • Lifetime Achievement: Eddie Simon
  • Changing Lives: Matthew Smith from NPS Taunton
  • Change and Innovation: Angela Oakley from HMP Buckley Hall
  • Fairness. Decency and Respect: Megan Key from NPS Midlands
  • Supporting Victims: Anna Whateley from NPS Bristol
  • Public Safety: Angie from NPS Midlands
  • Staff Support: Stacey Johns from NPS Bridgend
  • Partnership Working: Angie Powell from HMP Exeter

The Prison Officer of the Year Awards 2018

Keith Potter, Youth Custody Prison Officer HMYOI Feltham was awarded the title of Prison Officer of the Year 2018 on Thursday. Keith was nominated by his line manager Paul Barney, the Head of Offender Management as his services towards rehabilitating young people is unmatched.

Keith runs numerous constructive activities that help young people’s rehabilitation and resettlement, such as successfully reintroducing the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme at HMP Feltham, extending the Fire Brigade LiFE course as a ROTL opportunity and has created community partnerships with local football clubs.

Keith has managed to find an effective way to get through to young people helping them to turn their lives around. On winning his award, Keith said:

I’m not sure it’s really sunk in yet but it feels great. I’ve never thought that I was ever doing any more than just my job, so to be recognised for that is really fantastic.

Talking about why he chose Keith, Michael Spurr, HMPPS Chief Executive Officer said:

Keith has done phenomenal work with a huge range of officers to support young people at Feltham, much of it in his own time and all of it with passion and commitment.

Probation Champion and Prison Officer of the Year 2018 Awards

The category winners were:

  • Team of the Year: Early Days in Custody Team, HMP Woodhill
  • Lifetime Achievement: Trevor Lewis from HMP Exeter
  • Changing Lives: Donna Taylor from HMP Wormwood Scrubs
  • Change and Innovation: Brian Greig from HMP Standford Hill
  • Fairness. Decency and Respect: Jim King from HMP/YOI Feltham
  • Safety, Security and Care: Rae Carter from HMP Winchester
  • Public Safety: Stuart McBride from HMP Swaleside
  • Staff Support: Kerrie Stott from HMP Isle of Wight
  • Partnership Working: Keith Potter from HM/YOI Feltham

On the awards, Prisons and Probation Minister, Rory Stewart said:

I want to pay tribute to our prison and probation staff for their extraordinary service, commitment, and resilience.

They are true heroes and I have been staggered – day in, day out – by the quality and dedication shown by so many of our staff.

These awards give us the opportunity to reflect on their contribution, and to recognise those individual staff who have gone above and beyond. They are true role models, and show the impact staff can have in helping offenders turn their lives around, thereby reducing reoffending and protecting the public.

Michael Spurr, Chief Executive of HMPPS said:

The staff working in our prisons do vitally important work every day but it often goes unseen so these awards are the perfect opportunity to recognise this work and to say thank you.

Our nominees represent the best of a service where professionals are dedicated to changing lives and making their communities safer.

I feel privileged to lead the service and I am extremely proud of the work our finalists are doing.

HMPPS awards are an opportunity to celebrate success, share best practice and shine a light on the great work being done across England and Wales in the prison and probation services.

Working with offenders in prison and in the community presents daily challenges but it is a vital public service with great opportunities to make a difference and to prevent victims and better protect the public.

Notes to editors

The Probation Awards took place on Wednesday 20 June 2018 and the Prison Officer of The Year Awards took place on Thursday 21 June 2018.