Local hero wins award for "unbelievably challenging" work

Local hero wins award for

Local hero wins award for "unbelievably challenging" work

First published in News by

A dedicated probation officer has been presented with a prestigious award for her outstanding work.

Jo Tierney, a senior probation officer with Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust (SSPT), was this month awarded the annual Butler Trust Commendation for her work in the field of public protection and more recently domestic extremism in the south east.

Launched in 1985, the Butler Trust Awards recognise outstanding dedication, skill and creativity by people working in prisons, probation or youth justice settings across the UK.

The awards are considered the most sought after for people working in correctional settings and, along with commendations, are given for work which has had a positive impact in the management and care of offenders, crime reduction, health and well-being of staff and more.

Jo, who collected her award from Princess Anne at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on March 20, said: “It was great being at Buckingham Palace and I had an interesting experience.

“Princess Anne was very knowledgeable about what is going in the Criminal Justice system.

“She knows what’s going on in prisons and in the probation service and it was good to hear.

“Finding out I won the award was a shock. It’s a privilege because I love my job. It sounds like a cliché but no day is the same.

“It’s unbelievably challenging at times and for the last seven years I’ve been working in public protection, working with people who have committed the most serious offences against individuals including murder, sexual offences, and those involved in far-right extremist activity.

“But it’s not just me. I work with the most amazing people in the Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust. They are incredibly committed and so hard working. They are the unsung heroes.

"They have a real belief in the importance of the job and a commitment to protect the public and to prevent reoffending.”

Last Thursday’s prize is not the first of Jo’s career.

Her impressive efforts last year saw her win a National Probation Award for Public Protection, which recognises those who work with difficult and dangerous offenders.

She also scooped the SSPT Manager of the Year award in tribute to her “outstanding management practice and effective leadership”.

Nick Smart, chief executive of SSPT said: “Jo’s work in the field of public protection over the last five years has been greatly valued by SSPT. She is recognised as an expert within her field and her judgements and opinions are highly respected”.

Simon Shepherd, director of the Butler Trust said, “We are delighted for Jo. We receive almost 300 nominations each year, give only ten awards and commendations, so to get a commendation is a real achievement.

"It is also a richly deserved recognition of her excellent work”.

Hundreds of heroes go almost unnoticed in our local communities.

But The Argus is determined to give them the recognition they thoroughly deserve.

We have teamed up with housing repair and maintenance company Mears to launch our weekly Local Hero Awards.

We are inviting readers to nominate their candidates and tell us why they have put them forward for the award.

Contact Ben Leo on 01273 544682 or email ben.leo@theargus.co.uk.

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