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22 Nov 2022

2022 Howard League Community Awards winners revealed 

Successful schemes encouraging desistance from crime received national recognition today (Tuesday 22 November) as the winners of the 2022 Howard League Community Awards were announced.

The prestigious awards are presented annually by the Howard League for Penal Reform to people and organisations whose innovative work keep people out of the criminal justice system by providing alternative, proportionate, effective, and targeted interventions.

From a high-quality field of nominations, entries from England, Wales and Northern Ireland were shortlisted for this year’s awards, giving them the chance to promote their work on the national stage. They tuned into a Howard League online celebration event this morning to hear the winners and commended entries being announced.

 Catryn Yousefi, Programmes Manager at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The Howard League Community Awards celebrate the incredible work being done within communities to provide targeted interventions and reduce the risk of re-offending.

“Every year, we are consistently blown away by the quality and range of entries, and are delighted to be able to honour some of the best schemes in the UK.

“These winners are committed to making our towns and cities safer, and show that we can change lives and reduce crime through innovative and pioneering projects.”

Dr Ben Bradford, Chair of the Community Awards 2022 and Trustee at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “These awards shine a light on the fantastic work done by the third sector, community groups and criminal justice agencies to divert people away from offending, provide rehabilitation, support victims, and reduce crime.

“I am in awe of the commitment, ingenuity and enterprise on display, as well as, of course, of the results so many of the programmes and initiatives produce.”

The ‘Organisation of the Year’ award was shared by two outstanding entries – Willowdene Rehabilitation LTD and Working Chance.

For more than 30 years, Willowdene has been a pioneer of innovative rehabilitative solutions for men and women facing the complex issues that stem from a life filled with factors including offending behaviour, homelessness, poor mental health, substance misuse, and general disconnection from community and society at large.

Working Chance helps women with convictions to develop the confidence, skills and self-belief they need to overcome any barriers to their employment, find jobs and build careers. It works with organisations of all sizes across all sectors to find opportunities for women that align with their skills and aspirations.

The ‘Women’ category was won by Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Liaison and Diversion, Alana House and Thames Valley Police for their Enrich project, aiming to reduce the number of women receiving custodial sentences.

Part-funded by Thames Valley Police and Berkshire Community Foundation, Enrich offers trauma-informed support to women with multiple needs. Piloting in Reading, the project will offer a community resolution to women with complex needs who have been arrested for committing low-level crime.

The Golden Key was the winner of the ‘racial disparities in youth justice’ category for The Call In, a project seeking to divert young people involved in drug-related offending away from the cycle of criminality by giving them the opportunity to take part in an intense six-month programme of mentoring, learning and activities.

The ‘Policing and children’ category was shared by the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership and Thames Valley Restorative Justice.

Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership is helping the government to deliver its serious violence strategy in response to national increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide. Their project, named Inclusion, involves a deferred prosecution pilot which builds upon current Merseyside provisions for out of court disposals.

Thames Valley Restorative Justice’s School Responder Project is currently being piloted in schools in Berkshire and Oxfordshire and seeks to prevent young people entering the criminal justice system where it is not necessary. This frees up local policing to focus on other community issues, generally avoids escalation and can result in a more harmonious outcome for all concerned.

West Midlands Police & Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner won the top prize in the ‘Policing and adults’ category. Their Offender Rehabilitation Programme focuses on identifying people who have substance misuse issues and are prolific shoplifters and then helps them by dealing with the root cause of their offending.

The ‘Restorative approaches’ category was won by West Midlands Restorative Justice Project. The project was established in 1996 with the simple aim of offering victims of crime the opportunity to engage in a restorative intervention with the person responsible. It has developed a wide range of restorative approaches across the youth and adult criminal justice systems, within community settings and in response to conflict wherever it may arise.

The ‘Liaison and diversion’ category was won by West Mercia Police for its Steer Clear Project, which educates young people on the dangers of knife crime. It was funded via the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund.

Winners and Commendations by category

Organisation of the Year

Working Chance

Willowdene Rehabilitation LTD

Racial disparities in youth justice

The Call in Programme
Golden Key

No Admission Pathway
Sussex Police

Liaison and diversion

The Steer Clear Project
West Mercia Police

The Trust for Developing Communities
Brighton Streets

Criminal Justice Liaison and Diversion Team
Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Policing and adults

Offender Rehabilitation Programme
West Midlands Police/Office of the Police Crime Commissioner

Cumbria Pathways

Policing and children

School Responders Project
Thames Valley Restorative Justice

Operation Inclusion
Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership

Operation Divan
North Yorkshire Police

Restorative approaches

West Midlands Restorative Justice Project

Serious Violence Prevention Programme
Shekinah Make Amends

Safer Communities
Restorative Cleveland


Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Liaison and Diversion; and Alana House; and Thames Valley Police

Willowdene Women’s Whole System Approach
Willowdene Rehabilitation LTD

Notes to editors

  1. The Howard League for Penal Reform is the oldest penal reform charity in the world. It is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.
  2. Howard League Community Awards are presented annually. More information about the awards can be found on the Howard League website at:
  3. Contact details for all winners and commended projects, and more information about their work, are available on request.


Noor Khan
Press and Public Affairs Officer
Mobile: +44 (0)20 7241 7873



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