From left to right: Kim Thornden-Edwards (Chief Probation Officer for England and Wales), Sonia Flynn (CEP Board member and Deputy Director, Probation Workforce Programme and Ruth Hilton (Director of the Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum) at the opening of the Exhibition at Englesea Brook in August 2023.

This exhibition is a collaboration between the Probation Service in England and Wales and Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum, located in Cheshire.

The Probation Service traces its origins back to the late nineteenth century when Frederic Rainer, a printer and philanthropist from Hertfordshire, who was also a volunteer with the Church of England Temperance Society, expressed concern regarding the lack of support for individuals appearing before the courts. He generously donated five shillings towards a fund aimed at practical rescue work within the police courts.

The exhibition delves into the beliefs of the founders and their significant contributions in the police courts, as well as the establishment of the precursors to approved premises and community payback schemes, all the way to the evolution of the Probation Service up to the present day. The exhibition also provides insight into the opportunities that offenders had to transform their lives, both during the Victorian era and in more recent times.

The exhibition features informational panels and artefacts, including ledgers dating back to the 1920s and 40s.

This exhibition will tour various venues across England and Wales from August 2023 until the summer of 2024, narrating the history of the Probation Service from its inception to the present day. For the latest updates about the exhibition and detailed venue information, please follow this link: Root & Branch – How Five Shillings, Faith and Belief Inspired the Beginning of the Probation Service






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