Staff in Leeds, who work to prevent offending and re-offending by children and young people, welcomed a Royal visitor.
Organised by Butler Trust, a charity which recognises, celebrates, develops and disseminates outstanding work and best practice across UK prisons, probation and youth justice services, HRH The Princess Royal visited Leeds Youth Justice Service in Hunslet.
HRH The Princess Royal is a Patron of Butler Trust and, each year visits the services of some recipients of a Butler Trust Award. Sue Pearson, an Education Officer at Leeds Youth Justice Service was nominated and subsequently won one of the prestigious awards earlier this year. She was recognised for the empathy and skill she brings to her “life-changing” work with troubled families, along with the dedication and compassion she demonstrates in addressing the issue of child-to-parent violence. Sue also received the Keith Bromley Award for Education & Skills Training, supported by The Bromley Trust.
Leeds Youth Justice Centre was opened in 2015 and is a service for young people who enter the youth justice system or are identified as being at risk of offending. HRH The Princess Royal was given a tour of the centre and the opportunity to speak with Sue and her colleagues, and also unveiled a plaque to commemorate her visit.
Councillor Fiona Venner, executive member for children and families said:
“I am delighted that our Youth Justice Service welcomed Her Royal Highness and the Butler Trust to Leeds to hear more about the fantastic work that goes on across the city to support some of our most vulnerable young people on a daily basis.
“We have a bold ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to grow up in – a Child Friendly City, therefore we are committed to working with those young people who, for a variety of complex reasons, have come into contact with the criminal justice system. I am incredibly proud of the work our Youth Justice Service does to actively engage with and support these vulnerable young people to help them make positive life choices – giving them the opportunity to realise and fulfil their potential.”
Commenting on the award and the visit, Andy Peaden, Head of Service at Leeds Youth Justice Service said:
“We are really proud of Sue and were absolutely delighted when she won her award earlier this year. All of our staff do a fantastic job and make a real and positive difference for young people and for communities around the city.
“The Youth Justice Service is a multi-agency service that provides swift access to support from a range of partners including education, health and the police. HRH met with staff, specialists and volunteers from across all teams and her visit was a real honour for the service.”