A PRISON officer from HMP Hewell in Tardebigge has been presented with a prestigious award by Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal at St James’s Palace in London.
Jean Peckham received the award from the Butler Trust, which has The Princess Royal as its patron; her award was one of just 10 granted from over 400 nominations across Britain.
Now in their 34th year, the Butler Trust annual awards recognise outstanding service by staff and volunteers working in UK prisons, probation, and youth justice settings.
This year’s award ceremony, on Thursday, March 21, was held at St James’s Palace, with The Princess Royal presiding.
The Secretary of State for Justice, Rt. Hon. David Gauke MP, and Prison and Probation Minister, Rory Stewart, were among the audience to honour this year’s winners.
After the presentations, The Princess talked to Jean and her fellow winners over afternoon tea in the Palace State Rooms.
Simon Shepherd, Director of the Butler Trust, said: “Behind all the headlines, and hidden from view, is an unsung army of criminal justice workers and volunteers doing difficult, demanding and highly skilled work on all our behalves, with some of the most challenging people in society.
“Our awards are a way of saying a very public thank you to some of the most outstanding of them.
“And this year’s winners are as outstanding as ever.”
Speaking about Jean, the chair of the Butler Trust’s independent awarding panel, Sir Michael Harrison said:
“We were impressed by Jean’s decency, kindness, and enthusiastic help in supporting people in crisis throughout her career spanning over a quarter of a century.
“Colleagues call Jean ‘a champion of the vulnerable’ and a ‘talismanic’ role model, and her longstanding commitment to excellent public service is an inspiration to all.”