Andrew Smith was presented with the award by HRH the Princess Royal at the annual ceremony in St James’ Palace. The comendation recognises Andrew’s achievements in transforming catering at Maghaberry Prison for both staff and prisoners, and for the many benevolent and charitable projects he has been involved in.
Praising Andrew for his work, Stephen Davis, Governor of Maghaberry Prison said: “Andrew is a tremendous example of how the Prison Service can make a real difference in the lives of those in custody. He has transformed catering in Maghaberry by building a team from all nationalities and community backgrounds. This commendation is recognition of that work and everyone at Maghaberry is proud of him and his team.”
He added that Andrew has also provided opportunities for prisoners to contribute to the community with a Christmas dinner for local older people. He also raised over £1,000 for the Northern Ireland Kidney Transplant Research Unit through a Chinese New Year buffet cooked by Chinese prisoners.
Aidan, a serving prisoner and kitchen worker, praised Andrew for his work: “He has helped me more than anyone in the prison could know. He has given me skills, advice and learning which I did not think were possible when I came to prison. I now have an NVQ and skills which will allow me to go out of jail and get a job and not to return to custody.”
Notes to editors:
1. Mr Smith joined the Northern Ireland Prison Service in 1994.
2. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of Justice Press Office 028 90526 444. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.
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