Each year the Nepacs Ruth Cranfield Awards highlight and celebrate examples of exceptional work by people in the North East in the cause of rehabilitating prisoners into society and helping to cut the risk of re-offending.

Darlington's Housing Options Team and the 700 Club were among 19 organisations who received certificates of high commendation by the judges for their work and dedication in housing people and tackling homelessness during the pandemic.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, our deputy leader, said:

“The Housing Options Team worked tirelessly alongside the 700 Club in what were extraordinary circumstances to support those in need of housing across the borough.

“It’s great to see their efforts have been recognised by Nepacs and I would like to extend my own congratulations and thanks for all their hard work.”

Yvonne Beattie, CEO of the 700 Club, said:

“We consider it a great privilege to have played a part, alongside all the other agencies across Darlington, in responding to people in need through what has been a time of unprecedented difficulty for everyone.”

Amanda Lacey, chief executive of Nepacs, added:

“Our Nepacs Ruth Cranfield Awards aim to maintain a focus on rehabilitation within the criminal justice system and to ensure that good and innovative practice and ideas are broadcast as widely as possible so that they can be replicated elsewhere. This year, after a year’s hiatus, Nepacs also wanted to celebrate people who have gone further than ever before in the exceptionally difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic for all involved in the criminal justice system.

“I would like to congratulate and thank everyone who was nominated or received an award for going above and beyond to make a difference to the lives of people involved in the criminal justice system who want to turn their lives around. All of our winners and recipients of certificates have gone the extra mile to help support a positive future for their clients and offer hope for the future.”

Sarah Williams, Anna Ginsberg and Suzanne Jenkinson attended the awards ceremony on behalf of Housing Options Team, while Sarah Allinson and Joanne Tomkin received the award on behalf of the 700 Club.