Welsh probation work showcased at national awards

Three probation workers from Wales Community Rehabilitation Company have been recognised for their achievements at a national awards ceremony.

Service user coordinator Megan Jenkins, probation services officer Becky Phillips and restorative justice coordinator Harriet Ransome were all shortlisted at the National Offender Management Probation Champion of the Year awards, held in Macclesfield in July.

The awards celebrate the achievements of those working in the 21 Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRCs) across England and Wales as well as the National Probation Service.

A finalist in the intervention category, Megan was praised for playing an important role in developing strong partnerships and supporting those leaving prison as they resettle in the community. She credits being put on a drug rehabilitation programme, more than ten years ago, by her then probation officer, with saving her life.

Now using her personal experience to help others, Megan has helped to create a peer mentoring intervention group, providing offenders with a credible voice to offer encouragement and discuss the difficult issues.

Becky was shortlisted in the offender management category for ‘putting the offender at the heart of all her work’ and ‘building them an environment that supports their needs’.

Becky’s proactive and determined approach has led to the successful formation of Wales CRC’s first multi-agency community hub in Maesteg. Now 37 partner agencies offer health, substance misuse, financial and bereavement support, among other services, in one place.

Harriet was among three people to be recognised for her restorative justice work, empowering victims of crime with confidence and reassurance in Dyfed Powys. She has organised numerous face-to-face meetings between victims and offenders – in one case, this took a year to organise.

Harriet was praised for her ‘leadership in encouraging colleagues to adopt the scheme, in conjunction with other agencies’.

Wales CRC probation director Dawn Blower said: “It was a great honour to join our finalists at the awards ceremony. All three of them demonstrate the fantastic work which is often understated in probation. They have made great contributions to their local communities in Wales, helping those people who need it most.”