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Community Awards

The Howard League for Penal Reform's annual awards for the country’s most successful community projects encouraging desistance from crime.

Community Awards 2021

These are the Howard League for Penal Reform annual awards for the country’s most successful community projects encouraging desistance from crime. Projects which help to keep people out of the criminal justice system by providing alternative, proportionate, effective and targeted interventions will help reduce the risk of re-offending.

These annual awards celebrate best practice in diversionary work and champion work in the community that challenges and changes people for the better – be it with children, women, mental health programmes or restorative approaches. The awards recognise projects and organisations whose work and practice is delivered above and beyond normal service delivery.

Read the blogpost from Howard League CEO, Frances Crook  to mark the launch of the 2021 Howard League Community Awards.

Watch this short video clip from the 2020 awards ceremony with a message from the Howard League’s Chair of Trustees, Professor Fergus McNeil.

The awards include categories for work which seeks to prevent the criminalisation of children in residential care and arrest the entry of women into the criminal justice system.

The winners of the Community Awards were announced at an awards ceremony on 19 October 2021.

Shortlisted projects

The list of the shortlisted projects can be found here.

To visit the exhibition of the shortlisted projects and view the award ceremony on demand, download our events app. Complete the form below and we will email you the instructions on how to download the app and get access to this resource.

Judging panel

  • Gerry Marshall, Trustee, Howard League for Penal Reform (Chair)
  • Sofia Buncy, National Coordinator, Muslim Women in Prison Project, Khidmat Centres.
  • Superintendent Stan Gilmour, LPA Commander – Reading, Thames Valley Police
  • Andrew Neilson, Directir of Campaigns, Howard League for Penal Reform
  • Glyn Thomas, Head of Implementation, Liaison and Diversion Programme, NHS England
  • Nicola Tutty, National Lead for Female Pathways, Liaison and Diversion Programme, Health & Justice Team, Specialised Commissioning, NHS England
  • Catryn Yousefi, Programmes Manager, Howard League for Penal Reform

Find out more from guest blogs about the awards

  • Guest blog by Sofia Buncy, National Coordinator, Muslim Women in Prison Project, Criminal Justice Champion winner, Community Awards 2020.
  • Guest blog by Anna Hemmings, CEO, GamCare, organisation of the year winners, Community Awards 2020.
  • Guest blog by the chair of the judging panel on the launch of last year’s awards.
  • Read a blog by Neil Platt, explaining how winning a Community Award was the starting-point for the conception of the Howard League’s ground-breaking Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling. Neil Platt is Clinical Director, Beacon Counselling Trust and Commissioner, The Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling.
  • ‘Not only are the awards a great opportunity to network and grow they also provide much-needed encouragement for others who may be struggling to understand how best to move forward’ writes Superintendent Stan Gilmour, Head of the Violence Reduction Unit, Thames Valley Police in his guest blog.
  • In her guest blog, Nicola Tutty, National Implementation manager, NHS England and NHS Improvement National Liaison & Diversion programme and also a judge the Community Awards explores how the awards give the perfect opportunity to see some of the fantastic work from different projects around the country and to think about how we can best share all the innovation with other services nationally.
  • In his blog, Steve Jones, Director of Remedi, a former recipient of our Community Award, is reflecting on the last few months and on the awards themselves.
  • Read a blog by Dr Miranda Bevan, our Policy Associate and Lorraine Atkinson, our Senior Policy Officer highlighting how the Awards celebrate the work of organisations that are keeping women out of the criminal justice system and are supporting women who come into contact with the police and the courts.

What previous winners have said:

Winning an award is a huge boost to the whole organisation but particularly for the staff working in the area of work being acknowledged by the award. The recognition feels very valuing of who we are and what we do. We work hard because we care and it is really heartening to know that we are seen and others care about what we do and can see the impact it has. Receiving an award is very rewarding!!

Rose Mahon, Head of Excellence and Development at The Nelson Trust

To achieve this national award makes me extremely honoured, and proud that I am able to help people at a critical juncture of their life by diverting them into treatment. I would also like to thank management for their support and encouragement in the delivery of this ground breaking project, which had never been attempted previously in the United Kingdom.

This prestigious award from The Howard League for Penal Reform has provided the springboard for local collaborative projects, to receive the recognition and credibility needed to elevate the project with a national and International reach.

T/Detective Inspector Brian Faint, Cheshire Constabulary, Custody Investigation Unit

Alana House is pleased to have won The Howard League Award twice in the last four years. The award has provided us with more opportunities to network and share the outcomes of our work. We have been able to explore new partnerships and enhance what we do to improve outcomes for vulnerable women with complex needs.

We have also been able to reference the award in funding applications, as we believe it gives even more credibility to the work that we do. We are very proud to be associated with The Howard League for Penal Reform and value the advocacy, support and influence that they provide.

Natausha van Vliet, Chief Operating Officer, Parents And Children Together

Open Days

We continue to work with the winners and runners-up after the awards, hosting open days with each project to celebrate success and share best practice in the local community.

Past events

Howard League in Conversation Make Amends was held on Thursday 6 May 2021. Make Amends won the Howard League Community Award in  ‘Restorative approaches’ category in 2020. In this conversation Frances Crook, CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform talked with Soo Brizell, Service Manager, Make Amends (Shekinah) and Superintendent Ryan Doyle, Head of Criminal Justice and Custody, Devon and Cornwall Police. Ryan is also the Founder and Chairman of the charity LHDiversity (commonly known as “Local Heroes”). The video recording of the event is available online here.

Howard League In Conversation with Anna Hemmings, CEO, GamCare was held on online on  Tuesday 27 April 2021. In this In Conversation event, Frances Crook, CEO of the Howard League for Penal Reform talked with Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive Officer, GamCare about the Howard League Community Awards and GamCare winning the ‘Organisation of the year award 2020’, about the work of the Howard League Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling and GamCare’s national work in this area, including their Hertfordshire Problem Gambling Project and the launch of a new criminal justice system gambling programme.

The video recording of the event is available here.

Well Women Celebrates event was held on Wednesday 27 November 2019, at Wakefield Town Hall.

The event celebrated the ground-breaking work of Well Women Centre, Wakefield.

Changing the focus: Prevention, Policing and Partnerships was held on18 Jul 2019, at Crowne Plaza, Plymouth.

The event focused on the role of prevention within policing, and included an exploration of Problem Solving and Trauma Informed Practice.

Sexuality, learning disability and the law: Thinking together was held on Monday 17 June 2019 at Doughty Street Chambers, 53-54 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LS

This symposium focused on issues of sexuality of people with learning disabilities, autism, or both, and those who support them.

Further information and report from the event can be found here.

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