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Ex-Royal Marine wins national award for helping veterans on probation


Ex-Royal Marine wins national award for helping veterans on probation

NEWS

06 Nov, 2023

Despite having no previous experience of working in the criminal justice system, Gareth Mills beat tough competition to be named Best Newcomer of the Year Winner at the Inspire Justice Awards

An ex-Royal Marine, who joined the Probation Service just over a year ago, has scooped a prestigious national award.

Gareth’s military background has seen the father of two rocket up the career ladder becoming Veteran Lead the within the space of less than twelve months.

Upon joining the Probation Service, Gareth was struck by how many veterans were in his caseload.

Just a few weeks later, a chance meeting with a fellow veteran and charity founder at the school gates no less, cemented in Gareth’s mind that extra support for veterans under supervision would be transformative in terms of their rehabilitation.

In partnership with Corporal Andy Reid MBE and his charity Standing Tall, which helps veterans with their mental health, Gareth set about developing a referral process and delivery to ensure veterans on probation can get the mental health support they need.

In addition, Gareth is now delivering monthly veteran's drop-in sessions to support offenders on probation as well as planning for Armed Forces Day next June to raise money for charity.

All of this work is voluntary, something which Gareth has taken off his own back all the while managing a busy caseload.

Of their one in a million colleague, Head of Probation Delivery Unit for Warrington and Halton, Kerri Bendon, said: “Gareth is the epitome of a probation practitioner and the last 12 months has shown what a great asset he is to the probation service and also what a bright future he has ahead of him. We are very lucky to have him within our organisation. He has stepped into his new role with vigour and enthusiasm to do the best he can for those he works with and his colleagues. He is an excellent team member and supports his colleagues on a daily basis without complaint. He instils the values of the probation service in everything he does and he clearly enjoys the work he does across his role. His enthusiasm and commitment is contagious, and his dedication to enabling people to be their best is evident day in day out."

Delivered by Skills for Justice, the Inspire Justice Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements of the justice sector workforce. Now in its second year, the Inspire Justice Awards are sponsored by BT, Unison and SFJ Awards. To find out more visit: https://skillsforjustice.org.uk/inspire-justice-awards