Winners all: (l to r) Jo Burden, CEO Circles South West (Commended); Alasdair Jackson, CEO Recycling Lives Charity (Winner) and Maggie Walsh, CEO A Fairer Chance (Highly Commended)
Report on the 2019
Robin Corbett Awards
Several Corbett Networkers attended the standing room-only meeting of the All Party Prison Affairs Group meeting – attended by the main speaker Edward Argar MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Ministry of Justice. He was preceded by the presentation of the 2019 Robin Corbett Awards by Lady Corbett. She thanked all the judges, the Prison Reform Trust and the Worshipful Company of Weavers who pay admin charges and also the Chrysalis Foundation the main sponsor of this Award. Under the inspired leadership of David Apparicio and his supportive wife Jo, the Chrysalis in-prison Programme has turned many caterpillars into butterflies.
Lady Corbett said: “Because of the Award I kept on meeting charities working in their own pond and I thought wouldn’t it be great if we all worked in a sea so we could achieve far more. Luckily, many agreed and I can’t tell you how collaborative this Network is. We now have a coalition of 54 decision-makers of major charities and organisations who subscribe to our motto: Engage… Empower … Employ. Our main aim is to risk assess and make job-ready - then persuade more firms to employ people with convictions.
“We are producing a video with this same aim – it will be launched after Easter and in June we’ll be presenting winners of our first Employer of the Year at the House of Commons.
“Now the big news! In 2015, I handed a cheque to Professor Belinda Winder of the Safer Living Foundation whose work with sex offenders had an 83% non re-offending rate. Little did I know that four years later that prize money would help fund a building – and on February 13, I cut the ribbon on the Corbett Centre for Prisoner Re-integration in Nottingham. It’s an initiative between Nottingham Trent University, the Safer Living Foundation who will run it, Nottinghamshire Police and HMP Whatton.
“And it is the first such building in the world! Already two areas have indicated they wish to open a Corbett Centre so we will see how it expands. The building is Grade II listed and it will help, counsel and support all ex-offenders. I was very touched to see the plaque in the entrance hall dedicated to my husband and me.
“I end, as I always do with the quote which inspired me to do this work: All men die but some men live on.
“Through the Robin Corbett Award, the Corbett Network and now the Corbett Centre for Prisoner Re-integration, my husband’s name and legacy live on and I could not be more honoured and more proud. Thank you.”