HACRO Achievement Awards 2018: HACRO celebrates those who’ve changed lives in Achievement Awards 2018.

The HACRO Achievement Awards, now in their second year, celebrate the journeys some ex-offenders have made to turn their lives in a direction that is more meaningful and crime-free. And the awards also pay tribute to individuals who have given their time and commitment to helping those who’ve been in trouble.

24 people were recognized at the event held in the University of Hertfordshire’s Weston Auditorium, with awards presented by the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire for 2018-19, Suzy Harvey.

“We know that committing a crime is a choice, and choices have consequences;” said Yasmin Batliwala, President of HACRO, “but if someone gets a bad start in life, or gets drawn into the wrong group, or into alcohol or drug dependence, then it is really difficult to move out of it. It takes a certain kind of unswerving determination, insight, courage, and possibly good fortune, to make the momentous change away from criminal behaviour. Inevitably it means changing your social circumstances, your dependencies, and your friendship groups. That’s what we’re here to validate and that’s why these Awards are important.”

High Sheriff Suzy Harvey said, “I was delighted to attend the HACRO Achievement Awards this week, which celebrated the significant achievement of ex-offenders who have succeeded in turning their lives around and who have become law-abiding, contributing members of our community in a variety of roles.”

The Awards covered these categories:

  • Succeeding in Employment
  • Commitment to recovery
  • Overcoming addiction
  • Turning your life around
  • Being a role model
  • Personal growth
  • Grit

In addition there were a number of special Awards:

  • For partnership
  • Supporting peers (this was for people still serving a prison sentence)
  • Supporting success
  • Volunteering
  • President’s special recognition award

The stories behind these Awards are remarkable and very moving. Comments on the night included,

“Thank you for a brilliant night at the HACRO Awards… You all worked so hard and the result was a suitable celebration of huge achievement.  To spend an evening delivering a life-affirming event for people who have not until now valued themselves much is such a great thing and will live long in their memories – and ours!  I wanted to stand up and clap for everyone! Hopefully you will see great outcomes from this evening and it will go on from strength to strength.”

“… congratulations and thanks to you and the HACRO team for staging last night’s awards ceremony; this was indeed an informative, inspiring and thought-provoking event.”

Over the next few weeks, we will be highlighting a number of award-winning individuals who have given us permission for their moving stories to be told on our website.