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20 Oct 2020

Howard League Community Awards winners revealed

Successful schemes that reduce crime and transform lives for the better received national recognition today (Tuesday 20 October) as the winners of the 2020 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 helps to make communities safer.

From a large number of nominations, more than 50 projects from across England, Wales and Scotland 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 successful projects and pioneers who help people to turn away from conflict with the law and make everyone safer.

“The flood of entries from across the country reveals that many people are working with imagination and enthusiasm, often inventing new approaches that have important lessons for us all.

“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.”

The ‘Organisation of the Year’ award was won by GamCare, a leading provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling-related harm. The award recognises the progress that the organisation has made in its work to help gamblers who have become caught up in the criminal justice system.

The ‘Women’ category was won by Trevi, a charity based in the South West of England that provides safe and nurturing spaces for women and their families to heal, grow and thrive. In its 27 years of operation, the charity has helped to transform the lives of thousands of women and their children. It runs three centres.

Another South West charity, Shekinah Mission, was the winner of the ‘Restorative approaches’ category. Make Amends is a restorative justice service delivered in partnership with Shekinah and commissioned by the Office for Police and Crime Commissioner (Devon and Cornwall).

Thames Valley Police won the ‘Policing and children’ category for its Drug Diversion scheme, which gives children an opportunity to learn about the dangers of drugs and offers them the support they need to make positive changes in their lives without ending up with a criminal record.

The top prize in the ‘Children in care and care leavers’ category was awarded to Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Youth Offending Team and Norfolk Children’s Services, who have worked together to reduce the criminalisation of children in residential care.

Support with mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse, homelessness and money problems are just some of the ways that the Birmingham & Solihull Liaison & Diversion Team helps people in need. The service, provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, won the ‘Liaison and diversion’ category for its work in police custody suites, courts, prison and the community.

The winner of the ‘Policing and adults’ category was the Domestic Abuse Follow-Up project, run by Humberside Police.

As well as honouring the successful projects, the Howard League presented Criminal Justice Champion awards to two outstanding individuals – Emma Jones and Sofia Buncy.

Emma Jones has worked within the criminal justice system in Wales for almost 15 years, starting as a trainee psychologist at Swansea prison before moving on to join Gibran, a not-for-profit enterprise that now trades under the name Include. Emma has worked on projects that have supported and changed the lives of about 5,000 people, including the Include Hub, a drop-in service that has helped more than 1,000 members since it opened in 2017.

Sofia Buncy began her career as the researcher of the first-ever report into the experiences of Muslim women in British prisons, Muslim Women in Prison – Second Chance: Fresh Horizons. Sofia has gone on to produce further reports and submit evidence to landmark reviews, such as the Lammy Review and the Farmer Review.

Winners and Commendations by category

Organisation of the Year


The Skill Mill

Criminal Justice Champions

Emma Jones
The Include Hub

Sofia Buncy
Muslim Women in Prison Project (Khidmat Centre)

Children in care and care leavers

Norfolk Multi Agency Approach to Reducing the Criminalisation of Looked After Children
Norfolk Constabulary, Youth Offending Team, Children’s Services

Youth Justice Voices
Staf (Scottish Throughcare and Aftercare Forum) and CYCJ (Children and Young People’s Centre for Justice)

Drive Forward Foundation Policy Forum’s campaign to ‘decriminalise care’
Drive Forward Foundation

Young People’s Circles of Support and Accountability Project (South West England)
Circles South West Youth

Liaison and diversion

Birmingham & Solihull Liaison & Diversion Team

St Giles’s Emergency Department/Trauma Centre Intervention Service
St Giles

Getting It Right: Liaison and Diversion Services for young people
Peer Power Youth

Policing and adults

Domestic Abuse Follow-Up Project
Humberside Police

Policing and children

Drug Diversion
Thames Valley Police

North Lincs Early Intervention Team
Humberside Police

Early Intervention Team
West Yorkshire Police

Restorative approaches

Make Amends
Shekinah Mission



Sunflower Women’s Centre

Dorset Female Out of Court Diversionary Scheme
Footprints Project Ltd and Dorset Police

New Chance
Office of the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (in collaboration with Anawim, Black Country Women’s Aid and West Midlands 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.
  3. Contact details for all winners and commended projects, and more information about their work, are available on request.


Rob Preece
Campaigns and Communications Manager
Mobile: +44 (0)7714 604955

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