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14 Nov 2019

Crime-cutting projects win Howard League Community Awards

Successful community projects that reduce crime and transform lives for the better have been honoured with prestigious Howard League Community Awards.

Chef, author and broadcaster Prue Leith presented awards and commendations to outstanding schemes from across the country. The prize-giving was the highlight of the Howard League’s ‘Policing the Community’ conference in London.

The ‘Organisation of the Year’ category was won by C2C Social Action, a charity working with people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system. The charity’s services include running a women’s centre in Northamptonshire, where women receive help with issues such as homelessness; education, training and employment; health; addictions; finance, debt and benefits; family relationships; domestic abuse; and loneliness and isolation.

Also praised were West Yorkshire projects CATCH (Community Action To Create Hope) and POLIT (Police Online Investigation Team) Pathway, which won the ‘Policing and children’ and ‘Policing and adults’ categories respectively.

The ‘Restorative approaches’ category was won by Restorative Cleveland, part of the Safe in Tees Valley project commissioned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland.

The Amber Foundation won the ‘Liaison and diversion’ category for its work with young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It runs a residential centre in Surrey.

The ‘Women’ category was won by LINC (Local Initiatives Nurturing Change), a Willowdene Rehabilitation project that delivers support to women across Warwickshire and West Mercia.

In addition to the successful projects, the Howard League presented awards to two outstanding individuals – Baroness Jean Corston and Julie Parsons.

In 2007 Baroness Corston published her seminal report, A Review of Women with Particular Vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System, as an international blueprint for how women in the justice system should be treated. She has worked tirelessly since then on issues such as stopping strip-search; investing in women’s centres; and stopping the construction of more women’s prisons. She has led with the Howard League on driving forward the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Women in the Penal System.

Julie Parsons founded C2C Social Action in 2003. The charity has diverted many women from crime and has even set up a successful social enterprise bakery, called The Good Loaf. The charity has three houses, where vulnerable people are offered accommodation and help in accessing appropriate services. There are also plans to provide a safe shelter for homeless women.

Catryn Yousefi, Programmes Manager at the Howard League for Penal Reform, said: “The Howard League Community Awards celebrate successful projects and pioneers who guide people away from crime and help to make us all safer.

“Only the very best schemes in the UK are honoured each year and, once again, we were delighted to receive so many high-quality nominations.”

Winners and Commendations by category

Organisation of the Year

C2C Social Action

The Aurora Project

Criminal Justice Champion

Lifetime Achievement Award
Baroness Jean Corston

Unsung Hero
Julie Parsons

Restorative approaches

Restorative Cleveland
Safe in Tees Valley

Children First
Prospects, part of Shaw Trust

Policing and children

CATCH (Community Action To Create Hope)

Stay Curious!
The Children Society and Met Detention

Liaison and diversion

Amber PCC Beds
The Amber Foundation

The Bedfordshire Mental Health Treatment Requirement (MHTR) Project
East London Foundation Trust


LINC (Local Initiatives Nurturing Change)
Willowdene Rehabilitation

C2C Women’s Centre
C2C Social Action

Policing and adults

POLIT (Police Online Investigation Team) Pathway
West Yorkshire Liaison and Diversion

Metropolitan Police

Children in care

North Lincolnshire Children in Care Partnership
Humberside Police and North Lincolnshire Council

Together for Children
Sunderland Youth Offending Services and Northumbria Police

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. Photographs of the successful projects receiving their awards are available on request.


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