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MA Awards 2021 - Winners announced

The winners of the MA's Awards 2021 have been announced at an online awards ceremony at our annual conference

19 October 2021
MA Awards 2021 - Winners announced

The worthy winners of the MA's Awards for 2021 were celebrated at the annual conference on Saturday 16 October. The winner were as follows.

Magistrates in the Community Education Award 

This is awarded to the branch that has made the most visits to primary schools, secondary schools and higher education establishments in relation to the size of their branch. This year Magistrates In Community (MIC) activity has been heavily impacted by the pandemic but some branches still managed to make an astonishing number of visits.

And the winner is…  Essex Branch of the MA

As many branches activity had to stop, some branches were still able to continue with their MIC activity.  This particular branch continued to work with many schools, and were able to reach nearly 3000 children from primary schools and secondary schools, which is really quite remarkable considering the difficulties that MIC teams have faced this year.

Magistrates in the Community Outreach Award

This award is given to the branch that has made the most visits to community groups in their area in relation to the size of their branch.

And the winner is…  Essex Branch

The winning branch have become renowned for their work with community groups, as they have been in receipt of this award many times in recent years.  It is important for the MA to reach out to community groups, to teach people about the magistracy and to encourage an interest in perhaps becoming a magistrate. Essex branch have shown a consistent commitment to this, and deserve to be recognised and appreciated for their efforts, 

Magistrates in the Community Innovation Award

Awarded to the branch or individuals who have created and incorporated something new and innovative to their Magistrates in the Community programme

Our winners are…Dan Longman JP, Merseyside branch of the MA and Kathy Whitaker JP, Cheshire branch of the MA

As members of the joint Merseyside and Cheshire Advisory Committee, our joint winners have spearheaded an innovative campaign to increase awareness of the magistracy across the north west through social media. Their posts about JP’s work and recruitment have been noticed by the Judicial Office and the campaign has been officially permitted to continue as the UK’s only official regional channel promoting awareness of the bench, which engages with new people who have not responded to traditional methods of recruitment.

The Judicial Office has showcased these results to the Senior Presiding Judge and this is  being rolled-out of regional channels including Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire, the north east region, Wiltshire, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. To see what they have been up to check out at @Cheshmerseymag on Twitter or search Cheshire & Merseyside Advisory Committee on Facebook

Magistrates in the Community Presenter of the Year Award

Awarded to the MIC Presenter who has gone the extra mile at a local level to present and educate on the justice system

And the winner is…  Brian Topping JP, Lancashire branch of the MA

Our winner has used his experience of planning and delivering presentations to create an interactive presentation linking ‘An Inspector Calls’ to MIC work, engaging with over 225 year-9 students in groups, and manged to do this remotely too. Brian enjoys a challenge and has demonstrated skills, expertise, commitment and determination to succeed with his creation. … The activity was a huge success! This being endorsed in a personal thank you note sent to our winner from the head of year 9 and in an email from the assistant headteacher who said ‘that tBrian is an absolute credit to you and your colleagues! The time and effort he put in were commendable and the presentation was very well received... Our intention was to expose the students to a range of guest speakers to help them better understand the communities and society in which they live. Brian’s presentation was perfect for this”.

Employer Award

This award is based on members nominating their employers for supporting them in their role as a magistrate.

And the winner is…Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University has been nominated by Karl McLaughlin JP and in addition by Samuel Larner JP This award has been given in recognition for this institute’s continued support of Karl and Samuel in the roles of magistrates, from their application to the continued carrying out of their role.  In the current climate of extensive cuts in higher education and the resulting pressure to limit non-essential obligations of academic staff beyond the university, Dr Bousfield has continued to offer his support, enquire periodically about bench work, and has ensured that an appropriate time allocation, with pay, to cover the majority of sittings is included in Karl McLaughlin’s workload every year. This is at a time when it would be understandable for this provision to be revisited annually due to pressure from senior management to lower costs. Karl and Samuel are part of the same department and despite their being fewer staff during covid, they have never had their time as magistrates questioned.

 Branch Officer of the Year Award 

Awarded to a branch committee member who is dependable, reliable, progressive and driven towards making their branch and the MA the best they can be.

Our winner is... Erica Taylor JP North and West Yorkshire 

Erica's tenure in the MA extends some 16 years during which time she has held many pivotal roles. Ater stepping down as Bench Chair of North Yorkshire, she joined the enlarged North and West Yorkshire MA committee and was selected to become the Regional MA rep on the North East Region JBG, a post she has held for the last 4 years. She has initiated a regular remote meeting between all branch chairs in the region on the eve of every Regional JBG meeting to exchange ideas and give an MA steer to the responses she will make at the JBG meeting. Erica's contribution is dynamic and professional. Her breadth of experience commands lasting respect and for obvious reasons she is a branch officer to whom many turn to for advice. She is enormously hard working, continuously striving to raise the profile of the magistracy and support fellow Magistrates. She has owned the role of North Yorkshire IT Lead and her patience and guidance to her fellow magistrates during the covid-19 pandemic has been invaluable. Her contribution to the service of justice in England is to be admired and makes her deserving of the award of Branch Officer of the Year. 

Special commendation to Chris Harrison JP North and West Yorkshire branch of the MA

Retired Member of the Year Award

Awarded to the retired member who has made the most substantial contribution to their branch, and the MA as a whole.

The winner is...Tim Pocock JP, Oxfordshire branch of the MA

Tim, a previous bench chair took on responsibility for co-ordinating all requests for Magistrate's In the Community engagements before he retired, and continued in this role after retirement. Through the Covid pandemic he has held numerous Zoom sessions with interested groups and his single-handed efforts have kept the Magistrates In the Community project running.

Inclusion and Social Value Award 

Awarded to the member who has done the most to promote the MA and the magistracy to diverse or underrepresented communities, furthering outreach and public knowledge of the magistracy and criminal justice.

The winner is...Luke Rigg JP, Central and North London branch of the MA

As chair of the Young Magistrates Network, Luke has worked tirelessly for the last two and a half years on raising the profile of the group and encouraging more young and diverse people into the magistracy. He has worked on employers policy, FLA process and policy and recruitment and attraction campaigns. He has engaged with younger magistrates and has set up a body of regional representatives across the country to continue to reach out to local communities and get local networks going. Luke is approachable, always taking queries people who have had questions about applying, or issues with their employer or bench colleagues. He always tries to resolve issues for colleagues, championing inclusivity and access to the bench, as well as retention of the most diverse members. 

As a highly motivated and capable young magistrate Luke has set a great example and has shown our more cynical colleagues why young people deserve a place on the bench and can satisfy the requirements of maturity and sound judgement. 

Branch of the Year Award 

Awarded to the branch that the panel believes has gone above and beyond, in communication, training, fundraising and representing its branch/branch members, and is a credit to the MA nationally.

The winner is... Shropshire Branch of the MA

Shropshire branch has a healthy membership and an Executive Committee who are committed, proactive and enthusiastic.

During what has been a most difficult year, they have adapted and incorporated a range of activities to ensure magistrates remain engaged.  The branch has held monthly information and knowledge sharing sessions (using MS Teams) – these ensured some social interaction as well as  maintaining  continuous professional development.  Topics and speakers are extremely varied and relevant to members. Plans are in place to continue and evolve  this into  2022 with both online and in face meetings planned.

The Magistrate's In the Community team are working with Severn Teaching Alliance to develop a teaching resource which will directly link to the schools new curriculum.  This will  be available for 10-16 year olds and will be rolled out to 180 schools.

As a branch they have also taken the lead and set up a regional branch chairs meeting with the neighbouring branches (Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Powys & Herefordshire and Cheshire).  The forum is very useful to exchange ideas, discuss issues and generally support each other.

In summary, Shropshire have won due to their resilience, flexibility, engagement, innovation and progressive thinking during a very challenging time.

Special commendatioin to the London branches of the MA

Special Recognition Award 

Awarded to the individual member who the panel believes has made a lasting contribution at either branch or national level, and who is truly exceptional in going above and beyond what would ordinarily be expected. 

The winner is...Susan Grace JP, North and West Yorkshire branch of the MA

Susan became a Magistrate in 2011 and was quickly recruited to the MA Branch committee, From there, she became the North Yorkshire Training Officer before having involvement in both Family Training, Approvals, Authorisations and Appraisals Committee (FTAAAC) and the Justices' Training, Approvals, Authorisations and Appraisals Committee (JTAAAC). 

Susan has been appointed Chair of the MA National Training Committee 2018 to 2021 due to her excellent skills in the training field . During her tenure in that role she worked tirelessly, to facilitate the development of materials such as the Winger workbooks, a range of videos and e-learning materials, often committing over 50% of her working week to the role. Through her leadership Susan has injected energy, creating capacity for action and accomplishment.

In summary this nomination recognises the personal habits, values and tenacity of Susan who since becoming a Magistrate in 2011 has helped to shape the provision of training for Magistrates across the country. The habit of fine attention to detail; the value of authenticity and her dependable tenacity have enabled our winner to make the most remarkable contribution to the Magistracy.

Special commendation to Ged Dempsey from Cambridgeshire branch 


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