Each year the Nepacs Ruth Cranfield Awards recognise north east prison staff, probation/CRC staff, voluntary sector and other professionals to highlight the work of exceptional individuals and teams or innovative good practice in promoting rehabilitation of offenders. Nepacs is a north east charity which has been supporting people affected by imprisonment for over 135 years.

This year’s awards and certificates were presented by Dr Jo Farrar, chief executive of HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) at an event on Wednesday 18 September 2019 at Lumley Castle in Chester-le-Street.

The awards celebrated projects that support prisoners planning for release and afterwards, working with agencies to help promote purposeful and communal activity and build self-belief, helping them to re-establish themselves outside prison, securing accommodation, work and positive family relationships.

Instructional officer Graeme Jones was awarded one of the five main awards this year for his work in the bike workshop at HMP YOI Deerbolt. 

Working with the Margaret Carey Foundation, unwanted bikes are collected across the North and Midlands, repaired, and redistributed to those in need in the UK or abroad. The young men working there are encouraged to feel ownership of the workshop, taking on responsibility and decision-making themselves, and Graeme has developed a portfolio system where they can record their achievements and demonstrate employability. He has also completed training himself which will enable the workshop to offer accredited qualifications. 

Congratulations Graeme, a well deserved award!