It is with great sadness that we have to inform you of the passing away, last Friday evening 26th June, of CEP former Vice President Sue Hall.
Sue Hall was one of the most outstanding Probation figures of her generation. A linguist, she graduated in Russian and German from the University of Cambridge, Girton College in 1974, but chose to make her career in the Probation Service, gaining a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work at University College Cardiff in 1979. Her initial career was with the Humberside Probation Service, rising to Assistant Chief Probation Officer there in 1993. Her abilities, drive and commitment saw several further promotions. She became Deputy Chief Probation Officer in West Yorkshire in 2000 and whilst in that role she also achieved an MBA in 2002. In 2004, Sue was appointed Chief Probation Officer of the South Wales Service. She returned to West Yorkshire Probation as its Chief Executive Officer in 2005, in which role she remained until her retirement from that post in 2014. Under Sue’s leadership the West Yorkshire Trust gained a reputation for excellence. Sue was awarded an OBE in 2010 in recognition of her service to Probation.
In addition to her duties as CEO in Yorkshire, Sue was a national figure in England and Wales as Chair of the Probation Chiefs Association (PCA) from 2009 until its dissolution in 2014, a period of great turbulence in Probation, requiring astute leadership. She subsequently became a Non-Executive Director of the Probation Institute and a Trustee of the charity Prisoners Abroad from 2014 to 2017.
Such was Sue’s energy and drive that in addition to her other roles she was also simultaneously active at European level, acting as Vice President of the Confederation of European Probation (CEP) between 2010 and 2016. Amongst many other achievements she chaired the CEP Planning Group for the first and highly successful World Congress of Probation held in London in 2012. In 2014 Sue was honoured to present the annual Bill McWilliams lecture at the University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology.
All the above bear testament to Sue’s total commitment to the Probation Service and its values at local, national and international level. Highly intelligent, hard working and purposeful Sue was well respected by all who worked with her for her ability; her clarity of thought; her first class organisational skills; her integrity and her humanity.
Following her retirement from the West Yorkshire Probation Trust, characteristically Sue remained very active both professionally and in pursuing her other broad ranging interests: the arts, choral singing, travel, gardening, friendships and improving her language skills. Even in the face of her courageous final struggle with an aggressive brain tumour, Sue remained positive and determined to make the most of her life and each and every day to the very end. She was sustained by her intellectual curiosity and optimism, always looking for the positive in life , but most of all by her love and passion for her family, her grandchildren bringing her a particular joy.
Sue’s was a life well lived, sadly prematurely shortened by a cruel illness.