Launched in 2020 by HRH The Princess Royal, #HiddenHeroesDay is a national day – held at the end of September each year – paying tribute to the #HiddenHeroes working in UK prisons, IRCs, probation and youth justice services.
#HiddenHeroes Day is an opportunity to show everyone working in custodial and community justice settings that they are not forgotten, even if they are largely hidden from view, and to thank them for the critical, and often challenging, work they do on behalf of the people in the care and the public they serve.
HRH The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) launched the inaugural #HiddenHeroes Day in 2020, at a special event at HMP Bullingdon, where she delivered her own personal messages of thanks to staff throughout the UK, saying:
“It’s a real pleasure to be here today, to share in your celebrations of the first national Hidden Heroes Day, in recognition of all that you and your colleagues do, on behalf of both the people in your care, and the public you serve so admirably.”
You can find a write-up of #HiddenHeroes Day 2020 here.
The day has been widely observed every year since its launch, with events paying tribute to staff held right across the country, and messages of thanks and support from across the sector and beyond.
As one Prison Officer put it, summing up what #HiddenHeroes Day means to her and her colleagues:
“To have a day where people have gone, ‘we see you, you are not forgotten, this is for you’, it’s wonderful.”
#HiddenHeroes Day 2023 – 29.09.23
The fourth annual #HiddenHeroes Day took place on 29 September 2023.
From managers clapping staff in on their way in to work and sharing their own personal messages of thanks, to team building activities and staff recogntion events, and not forgetting food – lots of food (breakfast baps, barbeques, and afternoon teas) – the day was marked in prisons, probation offices, and youth justice services, up and down the country.
Meanwhile, tributes to staff came in from across the UK, including from (among many others):
the Prisons and Probation Minister;
the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in Scotland;
the Heads of HMPPS, the Youth Justice Board, SPS, the NI Prison Service and the Probation Board for N. Ireland;
HMI Prisons and the Chief Inspector for CJINI; and Community Justice Scotland.
You can find many more pictures and messages from the day via the dedicated @HiddenHeroesDay feed on ‘X’ (Twitter).