A royal thank-you to inspirational Youth Justice Worker

An inspirational Youth Justice Worker in North Tyneside has been awarded two Butler Trust Awards by The Princess Royal.

Justin Laidlers all round-excellence, boundless passion and ability to inspire hope were recognised at an award ceremony last week with the Princess Royal, who is a patron of the trust, presiding.

His hard work earned him the highest accolade of the evening, and he was announced as the winner of the Princess Ann Outstanding Achievement Award 2023-24.

Justin works with young people and families in North Tyneside and worked as a Youth Justice Worker with us before spending the past 18 months as a Child Exploitation Worker.

The national awards celebrate and recognise outstanding work across UK prisons, probation and youth justice services.

He was nominated by his manager who praised him for his ability to build positive relationships with young people, advocating for them and making a real difference to their lives.

He said: “Justin has always gone above and beyond for the young people and families he works with. He works with some of the most difficult to engage and challenging young people but he does not give up on them. He is persistent, shows he cares and goes out physically looking for them and finds the most creative ways to engage them – usually finding out their interests and engaging them via music and arts.

“Justin has shown lots of young people and families that professionals can be trusted, will stick around and can be fun too. After working with Justin for nearly 18 years, to see ongoing dedication and passion for that period of time in a job that can be emotionally difficult is pretty amazing.”

Alongside his dedication to his role, Justin runs a disability football team in his spare time where he has created a safe space for young people where they are accepted.

Julie Firth, Director of Children Services, said: “Justin is an amazing, integral part of our team and I’m extremely proud of his achievements.

“Young people, parents and partners always tell us about the very real difference he makes to their lives. Whether as a trusted adult working alongside young people who are being exploited, running our arts award project or as a committed colleague, he is highly respected for his ability to make a true positive impact.

“To see him receiving national recognition is absolutely fantastic and I cannot thank him enough for everything he does for the young people and families he supports. He is an inspiration to us all.”

You can read Justin’s full award nomination here.