A real caring pioneer

First published in Readers' letters

SIR – Thank you for your article and Comment on Eric Gibbs (T&A, October 13).

Can I add my appreciation for the 26 years Eric spent working for the Probation Service in Bradford.

Eric prepared reports for magistrates and judges that were valued for their humanity and a determination to help people change for the better.

He pioneered new ways of working with juvenile offenders and of enlisting ordinary men and women to tackle the problems of their estate.

He was a good man, but he wasn’t a saint, and like many individuals who actually make a difference, he tested the patience of those who preferred more bureaucratic approaches.

It’s 15 years or so since Eric left the Probation Service, but there are a few of us who will raise a pint to his memory and swap stories of days gone by.

Cheers Eric.

Rob Voakes, Head of Probation, Wakefield

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