Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Royal honour for man's 27 years prison service

A MAN who has worked at HMP Huntercombe for 27 years has received a national award from the Princess Royal.

A MAN who has worked at HMP Huntercombe for 27 years has received a national award, writes David White.

Dave Willis was presented with the Butler Trust’s commendation by the Princess Royal, the charity’s patron, at St James’s Palace on Thursday last week.

The trust’s annual awards recognise outstanding contributions by people working in UK prisons, probation and youth justice and have been going for 31 years.

Mr Willis, 58, who lives in Didcot with his wife Angela, is head of residence at Huntercombe and was nominated for his outstanding achievements and dedication to offender management.

He said: “I’m just blown away. It was amazing, especially as it involved some of the prisoners putting in the recommendation. I’ve been here 27 years so I know a few of them quite well and it took my breath away. We’re here for a purpose but it’s nice to know they appreciate what we do. My only regret was not coming into the job earlier. We have six residential units that hold 430 prisoners in total. I manage the six residential units. I’m responsible day-to-day for the prisoners.”

Huntercombe’s governor Laura Sapwell said: “Dave’s fantastic — he’s an amazing public servant but he’s also a real giver in his community as well.

“Dave doesn’t seek any attention, he doesn’t blow his own trumpet, he just gets on and does a remarkable job.”

Last month Mr Willis received an Oxfordshire High Sheriff’s award for his work with Harwell scouts and as a governor of the former Greenmere Primary School in Didcot.

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