Napo members and all who have followed the story of the destruction of the probation service were in celebratory mood last week after the government announced plans to abondon its failed model.
While there is still some way to go, most would agree that this is a step in the right direction.
The campaign has been a long and tough one; and one that could not have been fought without members' dogged determination to have the service restored to its former glory.
Napo HQ has been inundated with messages since the announcement -- many very touching and provided the extra fuel Napo staff need to continue driving the campaign towards a fully reunified and publicly owned probation service.
"I send my very best wishes, gratitude and congratulations for the immense courage, solidarity and integrity you have shown over these difficult years. I was so proud to be a member of my Union, NAPO, when in work, and I hope that the new Probation Service arrangements will reflect the values and qualities which NAPO and its members have always upheld. Diolch o galon i chi gyd (Heartfelt thanks to you all)"
"A massive thank you to all at NAPO Head Office and colleagues elsewhere for the massive amount of campaigning for a better and fairer National Probation Service located firmly within the Criminal Justice System which was clearly sold out in its entirety by an incompetent Home Secretary and his acolytes who believed that private for profit companies were both more economical and effective. Neither premise was true nor was it ever likely to be. All very uncaring and a symptom of our current governmental attitude to all the major public services. You are right to opine that there is much yet to be done and we will have to remain vigilant in ensuring that our values and aspirations for a more civilised approach to justice and rehabilitation is not further compromised in the reorganisation.
This may signal a welcome return to sanity in an extremely disordered criminal justice world. Your efforts have been much appreciated by this now retired but somewhat happier former probation officer. Well done."
"Many congratulations to you and your hard-working staff on the successful outcome of the campaign to return the service to the public sector, which, in addition to achieving the desired objective, has also raised the profile of probation in a positive way. Even though I have been retired for over 20 years, I have continued to take an interest in the service, and I was very distressed at the obvious erosion of its position of influence in the criminal justice system; this gives me hope that it can be reversed and that our former status restored."