A dedicated member of the Youth Justice Service is celebrating after being shortlisted for a prestigious national award for his work rehabilitating young people.
Ed Horwood, Youth Justice Service Reparation and Volunteer Development Officer for North Yorkshire County Council, has been praised for his innovative pop-up shed project.
The Butler Trust Awards are the most prestigious of their kind, recognising the outstanding work and best practice across UK prisons, probation and youth justice. The final judging panel will meet in November and the winners and those commended will be announced in the New Year.
Ed has been praised for his initiative to help rehabilitate young people who have been given community sentences by teaching them vocational skills from a mobile workspace.
In March, thanks to funding provided by three Rotary clubs and tools donated by B&Q, the service’s east team launched a pop-up workshop.
Ed said: “The nomination for this award is a great opportunity to showcase both the wonderful work that is being done by our young people to pay back to their local community and the generous support that local organisations, businesses and individuals have given us – without which, this project would not have been possible.”
The service devised the project after volunteers with Littlebeck and Whitby Men’s Shed initiatives and North Yorkshire Men’s Shed Ambassador Graham Storer helped one young person create bird boxes for Dalby Forest and a local charity shop, which had been requested by the victims of his offence.
“Ed deserves this award given the local achievements and success as a result of his drive, passion and determination,” said Vicky Metheringham, the County Council Head of Service Looked-After Children, Leaving Care and Youth Justice Service. “Ed’s innovative approaches are overcoming the structural and geographical barriers that often impede work with young people.
“Ed has quietly got on with the project, working tirelessly to provide new ways of supporting young people. He took it upon himself to liaise with local groups to secure funding and tools for the project and has shown passion throughout his work with young people.”
Since its launch, Scarborough Fire Station has provided workshop space, MKM Building Supplies have donated a large quantity of wood, and tools and donations of £200 and £300 have come from Whitby area Man’s Shed Association and The Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby.
“We’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by both the interest shown in this project and the support we’ve received from the community,” added Ed. “This project is making a real difference to our young people, who’ve enjoyed creating some wonderful items, which have been very well received by a number of local charities.
“The availability of the workshop space provided by the Fire Service so close to our Scarborough office has been a real game changer. We’re able to access it at any time, seven days a week. Furthermore, young people are able to interact with Fire Service personnel and gain an understanding of and respect for the valuable work they do.”
North Yorkshire County Councillor Janet Sanderson, Executive Member for Children’s Services, said: “I would like to congratulate Ed for being shortlisted for the award. It is a testament to all his hard work in rehabilitating those in the youth justice system. In a short space of time you can already see that the innovative pop-up shed project is making a real difference to the outcomes of young people.”