Carol Lee last night won a top national award in recognition of her work supporting offenders to make positive changes to their lives.
Carol, who works for the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company (CGM CRC), supports people referred to her from police custody suites and courts in Wigan. She has worked with more than 350 people during the last 12 months and was nominated for the “incredible impact” she has had on three service users’ lives.
She won the Fairness, Decency & Respect category in the prestigious Probation Officer of the Year Awards run by Her Majesty’s Prison & Probation Service. The national event recognises the best work carried out by probation services across England and Wales.
CGM CRC delivers probation services to people on licence from custody or on Community Orders.
Carol, a community support navigator, said: “I find it hard to express how I feel because the standard of the finalists was all so high that I was overwhelmed simply to be there.
“I am especially pleased because the win highlights the incredible work the team undertakes day-in-and-day-out to support some of the most vulnerable in our society to make lasting positive changes to their lives.”
Carol is part of a specialist team called the Greater Manchester Integrated Healthcare in Custody and Wider Liaison and Diversion Service. The team meets people in police custody suites and at court, assesses their needs and refers them to support services.
The service registers clients with a variety of services including health, substance misuse, accommodation and mental health agencies. Colleagues also accompany clients to appointments and help with benefits claims – among other issues.
Carol said: “There are no quick fixes, but with motivation and determination I’ve seen people make incredible changes to their lives. My job has shown me that change is always possible – irrespective of an individual’s background.”