Last year our beloved colleague Hannah Brandon sadly passed away. She was 53 years old. Hannah qualified as a social worker in 1998 when she began her career in youth justice. She worked in Manchester, Salford and Grimsby Youth Offending Teams as a practitioner and as a manager in Lincoln and Liverpool before becoming Head of Targeted Services for Liverpool City Council in 2014. This was an integrated Service which included the Youth Offending Service, Targeted Youth Service and teams working with missing children and children at risk of exploitation. During this period Hannah was seconded to HMI Probation for 18 months as a practice assessor inspecting Probation and Youth Offending Services in England and Wales. Hannah was involved in various youth offending initiatives including peer reviews, sitting on the joint Youth Justice Board (YJB) and Association of YOT Managers (AYM) boards. She was the north west executive member for the AYM and chaired the core cities youth justice group. In 2017 Hannah moved to London and began working in the London Borough of Croydon as Head of Adolescent Services where she had responsibility for the Youth Offending Service, missing children and the strategy for vulnerable adolescents. She set up social work teams that specialised in working with 13 - 18 year olds where there was risk outside of the home. Hannah had a specific interest in adolescent risk, child criminal exploitation and in securing positive long term outcomes for children. In 2020 Hannah moved roles within the borough to become Head of Social Work with Children Looked After and Care Leavers. She became a Director of The Skill Mill in 2021, having set up two successful teams in Liverpool and Croydon. Hannah passed away in March 2022, after a long courageous battle with bowel cancer.
The Hannah Brandon Awards have been set up in Hannah’s name to promote the fantastic effort of young people in Croydon who are improving their lives. The awards recognise those children involved with the Youth Justice System and celebrates their achievements. Hannah was a passionate advocate for young people and fighting for their better futures. This award recognises those young people who are making the most of the opportunities available in Croydon. It is Hannah’s legacy. Each young person who receives an award is allocated £200 of funding which will be used to support their journey out of the criminal justice system. The awards are funded jointly by The Skill Mill and Croydon Borough Council.
The first Hannah Brandon Awards were made on Monday 15th May by Croydon Youth Justice Service. There were 10 young people each receiving £200 awards covering the cost of driving lessons, gym membership and ICT for example. Two former employees of The Skill Mill Croydon were among the 10 to receive awards for their outstanding efforts.
“We are delighted that these awards will be held annually in Hannah’s honour. The awards are a source of pride and recognition of the achievements of young people, and the brilliant work which they do”
Davie Parks, Managing Director of The Skill Mill.