Westminster plays host to award-winning social workers
Outstanding social workers who won Gold in the 2018 Social Worker of the Year Awards were individually congratulated by government Ministers at an exclusive Parliamentary Reception which took place in the House of Commons (Monday 11th March).
The winners included Zoe Williamson from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, who was named ‘Overall Social Worker of the Year’. Zoe, who works in a largely rural part of Northumberland, was commended by the judges for making a considerable difference to the lives of young people with mental health difficulties.
Secretary of State for Education, The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP; Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage MP; and Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler, all attended to personally meet the winners.
The event was also attended by the Patrons of the Social Work Awards charity including Tim Loughton MP; Shadow Children’s Minister, Emma Lewell-Buck MP and celebrity chef and government fostering ambassador Lorraine Pascale.
Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Care, said: “It’s always a privilege to meet talented social workers who do indispensable, challenging and life changing work to support some of the most vulnerable members of our communities. The Social Worker of the Year awards rightly celebrates their successes, and acknowledges our debt to them. Social workers are some of the hardest working and under recognised people out there – I urge people to nominate their colleagues, or apply themselves, once entries open for this year’s awards.”
The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP, Secretary of State for Education, delivered a speech at the event in which he said: “Social workers do life changing things every day and not enough people think about that or reflect upon it often enough. Whether that’s supporting the most vulnerable adults or children who are often in extremely difficult circumstances, social workers shape whole communities and on a cumulative basis shape the whole of our society. Awards like these are so important at recognising the contribution that social workers make and it’s important that those of us in Government and in the media do more to elevate and celebrate what social workers do.”
This year’s awards will open for entries on Wednesday 3rd April and the closing date for nominations is Friday 19th July. In total there are 18 different categories across both children’s and adult services.
Peter Hay CBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Social Work Awards charity, said: “We are very excited to be launching the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2019. Every year the awards are getting bigger and better and they are a great way to put social work in the spotlight and make sure social workers get the recognition they deserve for the challenging work that they do.”
The supporters of the 2019 Social Worker of the Year Awards were also announced at the event. They include headline sponsors, Sanctuary Social Care; Corporate Partners, The British Association of Social Workers; and category supporters, Barnardo’s, Bradford Council, Kent County Council, Devon County Council, North Lincolnshire Council, Sunderland City Council, the London Borough of Lambeth, Children’s Social Work Matters, UNISON, Hampshire County Council, Servelec, Essex County Council and Tees Valley Local Authority Child and Adult Services.
The awards were founded in 2006 by social worker Beverley Williams MBE, with the aim of recognising the excellent and diverse work that takes place in the social work profession, celebrating the many outstanding achievements of social workers across England.