Every team would benefit from having someone like Caitie Watson on it... that was the verdict of the judges when selecting the Ingeus Case Manager to receive a prestigious Ruth Cranfield Award this week.
The awards, organised by Nepacs (the North East Prison After Care Society), recognise exceptional people working in rehabilitation within the region’s criminal justice system.
And for Caitie, who works directly with offenders to help them towards social inclusion and employment, the accolade is, she says: “Totally unexpected!”
She explains: “I work with practitioners every day and we all have a part in helping people move on. I could think of 100 other colleagues who would have deserved this award.
“However, it was a lovely surprise and I feel humbled that I was even considered. It’s a real honour!
“The work Nepacs does across the region is amazing and I’m proud to be associated with the charity.”
In their citation for Caitie’s award the judges stated: “She brings enormous empathy, positivity and energy to the job. A thorough professional, she is highly supportive to team members, creating a happy and enthusiastic working atmosphere. She will always go way above what is expected, often in her own time, working to help people see the goodness in themselves and achieve goals they never thought were possible. Her positive, can-do attitude is infectious.”
Caitie, who works as part of the Ingeus CF03 Community Hubs in the North East, says the job is: “An absolute pleasure to do – working to help people get back on their feet is my favourite part. “Seeing people work hard and achieving their goals is always great. Even if only one in 10 people take your help, because they’re not ready to change quite yet, it’s still a positive thing as before you know it you’ve spoken to a 1000 people and you’ve helped 100 to achieve something important for their future. Sometimes the smallest steps, like helping someone to obtain ID, can lead to people getting back into work, and being a part of their journey is so rewarding.”
At the awards ceremony, held at the Durham Cricket Club ground in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, Katy Andrewartha, Ingeus Performance and Service Delivery Lead, told the audience why she had nominated Caitie. She said: “Caitie leaves a positive imprint on every life she touches. I knew from the moment she started with us in 2018 she would bring bundles of positivity, motivation, and enthusiasm to the team.
“She thoroughly deserves this award and I’m absolutely delighted she has received this recognition from others working within the sector.”
The awards are named after Nepacs Patron Ruth Cranfield who organised the beginnings of the charity in its present-day form and continues to work tirelessly for it. Nepacs has its roots in the Durham Discharged Prisoners Aid Society formed in 1882.
Caitie’s award comes in the same week as the annual #HiddenHeroes Day that highlights the role of those in the criminal justice system doing difficult, demanding and sometimes dangerous jobs on behalf of the people in their care and the public.