Thank You #HiddenHeroes

First held in 2020, #HiddenHeroesDay is a national day, on 29 September each year, paying tribute to the #HiddenHeroes working in UK prisons, IRCs, probation and youth justice services.

#HiddenHeroes Day 2022 – 29.09.22

The third annual #HiddenHeroesDay, on 29 September 2022, was a chance to once again say thank you to all those who work in custodial and community justice settings across the UK, and to remind them that, while they may be largely hidden from public view, they are not forgotten.

You can see some highlights from the day on the @HiddenHeroes_UK Twitter account, and you can continue tweeting your own messages of thanks using the hashtag #HiddenHeroes. You can also find out below how the day has been marked in previous years.

On Twitter

Last week @HMPYOI_Hindley celebrated #hiddenheroes day. Prisoners and Staff were asked to nominate their hidden heroes, we had some fantastic staff recognized for going that extra mile. Well done to all our hidden heroes @HiddenHeroes_UK ❤️❤️❤️

Applauding the staff at Hydebank Wood College and Women's Prison, and the @NIPrisons #HiddenHeroes who work in custodial and community justice settings across Northern Ireland. @HiddenHeroesDay

A huge thank you to all the organisations who were kind enough to give the prison raffle prizes for our staff event that celebrated @HiddenHeroes_UK day! They were much appreciated! /1

This year we harvested around 10 litres of honey from our bees. At the recent @HiddenHeroes_UK event we asked for donations to @foryoubyyou in exchange for a jar of honey. We raised over £150 from the honey alone! #workerbees #greatoutdoors #ecoarea #buzzing

Last week prisons, IRCs, probation, and youth justice services across the UK marked #HiddenHeroesDay - in tribute to all those working in custodial and community justice settings for all they do.

On Thursday 29th September, SPS joined other UK Prison, Probation and Youth Justice services to mark Hidden Heroes day. A range of gestures were extended to SPS staff on the day, including those pictured below from HMPYOI Polmont.

Thank you to all of our Hidden Heroes.

We were delighted and honoured that the High Sheriffs of Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, the King’s representatives, visited our prison to thank our wonderful staff for their exceptional work on #HiddenHeroes Day.

Last week's #HiddenHeroesDay was a chance to once again say thank you to all those working in custodial and community justice settings across the UK.

If you haven’t done already, please do share any images from the day using the #HiddenHeroesDay hashtag

Well done all at Maghaberry who raised £2700 for the B Positive charity which supports families of children with cancer. Honoured to welcome David & Sara Watson to the prison. Their son Adam was the inspiration for the charity - sadly he passed away from Leukaemia in August.

My daughter has done me proud again with her baking for the Macmillan coffee morning/ wellbeing day at work 🐝🧡🐝 @HMPHewellGov @HMPHewell @HewellRainbow

A massive thank you to everyone who took part in our coffee morning/wellbeing day, early figures in show we have raised around £270 for Macmillan and £300+ for the welfare fund, this will make a big difference, so proud of everyone 🧡🐝 @macmillancancer @HMPHewellGov @HMPHewell

We smashed our #HiddenHeroes charity challenge target of 2,022 miles and completed 2,655.46 across @IntervAlliance and also raised (with the support of @SeetecInspire CIF) £160 for @mentalhealthuk and £50 for @AdfamUK.

Great day @hmpbirmingham celebrating the hard work of all of the @HiddenHeroes_UK the @Aramark @AramarkNE team in at the crack of dawn cooking fresh bread for a well deserved staff breakfast, great cakes and competitions.

Our team and participants at #Liverpool CFO Activity Hub cycled 217km (136 miles) today as a #HiddenHeroes charity challenge, held a cake sale and raised £308.47 for @macmillancancer. Fantastic achievement!

@HMPBuckleyHall held a 'bake off' 🧁to mark #HiddenHeroesDay & raised £154 for @ShelterGM. Talented colleagues got creative & their efforts were well received by those purchasing a treat! Congratulations to Angela who received the 'Star Baker' apron for the best cake. 👋👋

As part of celebrating our #HiddenHeroes at HMP Foston Hall, our staff took part in a wellbeing day. They continue to do a fantastic job and deserve great appreciation! Thank you!

Hidden Heroes event.

A morning of joint celebration for Hidden Heroes across the prison. Breakfast rolls and hot drinks were served to staff waiting in anticipation to find out who our Hidden Hero winner was, as voted by staff and prisoners

Winner announced in the next Tweet

To mark #HiddenHeroes day the Director of Reducing Offending Directorate, Ronnie Armour, visited our Juvenile Justice Centre to thank staff & acknowledge the work they do to help children achieve their full potential & to stop offending.

Thank you #HiddenHeroes 👏🏻
It was great honour to welcome The King’s representatives Lady Jane Clifford, Bedfordshire’s High Sheriff, Hertfordshire’s High Sheriff Mrs S D Burton DL and Pandora Clifford to @HmpYoiBedford on the #HiddenHeroesDay

#StrongerTogether #Community

It never ceases to amaze me what our staff deliver every day in some of the most challenging workplaces in the country - it was nice to see #hiddenheroes being celebrated yesterday but let’s not forget them today, and tomorrow and the day after that - thank you Team London!

Celebrating good times at our #HiddenHeroesDay @HMPHuntercombe. Breakfast, afternoon tea & even a visit from our very own SMT Superhero! We may be HIDDEN but we recognise what each & every one of our staff members does to make our team truly HEROIC! Thank you, you’re amazing! 👋

Our team and participants at #Liverpool CFO Activity Hub are gearing up for their mammoth 375km “cyclethon” today as a #HiddenHeroes charity challenge and to raise funds for @macmillancancer. Pop along to Lord Street to cheer them on and support a great cause.

Fantastic to see and celebrate the hard work which goes on within HMPPS by our amazing staff. #HiddenHeroesDay

Fantastic to see and celebrate the hard work which goes on within HMPPS by our amazing staff. #HiddenHeroesDay
HMPPS @hmpps

It’s #HiddenHeroesDay 🙌

Thank you to all our staff who work tirelessly across prisons, probation and youth justice.

Hear from @CEOHMPPS and @DGOpsHMPPS on how proud they are of the service 🎥 ⬇️

Happy #HiddenHeroesDay!
We’re joining with @ButlerTrust and celebrating all those amazing staff and volunteers across the UK justice sector. Have a great day from everyone at


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#HiddenHeroes Day 2021 – 29.09.21

After a hugely successful first #HiddenHeroesDay last year, #HiddenHeroesDay 2 began with the fantastic news that the #HiddenHeroes #CharityChallenge for Mental Health UK had already raised over £40,000, twice the original target, with yet more fundraising events taking place throughout the day itself.

The Butler Trust’s Royal Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, marked the day with a visit to HMP & YOI Brinsford, after which she spoke to staff from the prison, together with colleagues from next door HMPs Oakwood and Featherstone, to express her personal gratitude to them, and their colleagues in custodial and community settings throughout the UK. Jo Farrar, Chief Executive of HMPPS, was also there and added her own thanks to staff and volunteers across the sector.

Among many others: The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State, Dominic Raab; the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Keith Brown;  and Keith Fraser, Chair of the Youth Justice Board; all shared their own messages support. While Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister Naomi Long visited HMP Maghaberry and the Probation Board of Northern Ireland to express her thanks for the work of staff there.

There were messages of support and thanks too from colleagues, families, and friends across the country, as well as from ordinary members of the public, while managers up and down the country showed their appreciation in a host of different ways – there were flags flown, speeches made, gifts given, awards presented, games played, food served (including, at HMP Downview, some cakes made by the children at a local school), and lots (and lots) of chocolate… – the Governor of HMP Woodhill even unveiled a #HiddenHeroes garden dedicated to staff.

Meanwhile, our #HiddenHeroes were still raising money – including bake sales, sporting competitions, raffles, and even (at HMP Warren Hill) a sponsored fun run with staff dressed as superheroes – and by the end of the day the #CharityChallenge total had reached almost £70,000!

#HiddenHeroes Day 2020 – 29.09.20

On 29.09.20 prisons, probation offices and youth justice services up and down the country celebrated Thank you #HiddenHeroes Day, in tribute to the outstanding service of the #HiddenHeroes working in our prisons, IRCs, probation and youth justice services, especially during the covid-19 outbreak. They were joined on the day by Butler Trust Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, at a special event at HMP Bullingdon.

In Words

Zoe Ball fired the starting gun on the first national #HiddenHeroesDay with a shoutout on her Radio 2 Breakfast Show – and we were off and running…

#HiddenHeroesDay was a chance for people to pay tribute to the usually unsung #HiddenHeroes who work in prisons, IRCs, probation and youth justice across the UK. And people grabbed the chance – literally hundreds of tweets would pour in all day from each corner of the Kingdom.

The Scottish Government’s Justice Minister Humza Yousaf sent support, as did Northern Ireland’s Minister of Justice Naomi Long, and the Minister of State for Prisons and Probation in England & Wales, Lucy Frazer. There was also a special thankyou – diolch – sent out across Wales, alongside proud tweets from Jo Farrar, CEO of HMPPS, the Head of Northern Ireland’s Prison Service Ronnie Armour, the Youth Justice Board’s Chair Keith Fraser, HMI Probation’s Chief Inspector Justin Russell, the National Chair and General Secretary of the POA, and the Association of YOT Managers.

Meanwhile, the Butler Trust’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, was at HMP Bullingdon, making her third of five #HiddenHeroes visits to prisons in six weeks. After touring the jail, she addressed staff, outside visits, telling them:
“It’s a real pleasure to be here today, in the Butler Trust 35th Anniversary year, 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.”

To further mark the occasion, Her Royal Highness unveiled the #HiddenHeroes artwork the Butler Trust had commissioned from artist and recent Award Winner, Nikki Dennington. Framed copies of her work, as well as flags, had been distributed throughout the estate – and could be seen proudly displayed in photographs and videos shared across social media during the day.

Using the hashtag #HiddenHeroesDay, we also heard from prisons and IRCs, local probation offices, Approved Premises and Community Payback Teams, and youth justice services, in each nation. There were enthusiastic messages, too, from a wide range of voluntary sector agencies and suppliers, as well as colleagues, families, and friends.

In a video tribute to staff, Duncan Craig OBE, of the charity Survivors Manchester, spoke for many:
“It’s such an honour to be able to have a group of people that you can absolutely call heroes in your life and as your colleagues.”

Beyond all the messages of thanks, managers up and down the country paid tribute to their staff with their own #HiddenHeroesDay events. There were speeches, flags were flown, and pictures unveiled – and the No. 1 at HMP Huntercombe was one of a number to send personalised cards to every member of staff. There was a chocolate treasure hunt, charity cake sales and raffles, quizzes, games, and ‘Bake Offs’ – HMP & YOI Bronzefield even had a trumpet player! Some canny prisons had secured local donations for their events, and HMP Pentonville landed some raffle prizes from Arsenal and one of their former goalkeepers, Bob Wilson. There were specially-produced badges, lanyards, mugs and pens to mark the occasion too – and lots, and lots of food. HMP Peterborough had popcorn, a sweetie cart and a chocolate fountain, and there were bacon-butties for breakfast, lunches and teas, cakes, biscuits, curries, pizzas, cookies, chocolates, snack packs, and ‘goody-bags’ galore.

Read just a handful of the messages and tweets collected on Twitter at @HiddenHeroesDay and on the message board and it becomes very clear that, to those in the know, these heroes aren’t really hidden – and the feelings of mutual support, deeply felt gratitude, and sheer pride among colleagues across this sector is truly remarkable.

And Lexi Rayner, an Officer at Bullingdon, summed up what #HiddenHeroesDay meant 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.”

In Tweets…

The breadth and depth of the response across the UK can be seen from the (literally) hundreds of tweets posted throughout the day. We’ve collected as many as we could find together on @HiddenHeroesDay.

On Video…

Video messages:
The Princess Royal, Archbishop of Canterbury and others
HM Prison and Probation Service
Justin Russell, HMI Probation
Keith Fraser, YJB Chair
Naomi Long, NI Justice Minister
Humza Yousaf, Scottish Justice Secretary

#HiddenHeroesDay videos:
HMP Ashfield
HMP Bronzefield
HMP Bullingdon
HMP Drake Hall
Merseyside CRC
Newbold Revel PSC
NPS Midlands
NPS Wigan & Bolton
NPS Yorks & Humber
Survivors Manchester
HMP Werrington
HMP Wormwood Scrubs

#HiddenHeroesDay Video Challenge Cup:
Winner: Newbold Revel PSC
Runners up: HMP Bullingdon and NPS Yorks & Humber
Best score: HMP Wormwood Scrubs
Best screenplay: HMP Ashfield

In Pictures…

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