Adult Social Worker of the Year


Melanie Noel

ORGANISATION: Essex County Council

AWARD(S): Adult Social Worker of the Year

Melanie qualified as a social worker in 2004 and has worked across children’s services in London and Essex. She was instrumental in setting up Trauma Recovery Empowerment Groups in Family Centres to support mothers with trauma. She has experience supporting parents to deal with domestic violence, self-esteem issues and those who have had children removed from their care.


Now working in adult social care, having joined Essex shortly before the pandemic, Melanie works with adults to improve their mental wellbeing, supporting them to cope with anxiety and trauma.


Melanie has been instrumental in challenging bias and discriminatory behaviours, leading social work teams to understand and embrace diversity. She has been part of promoting anti-racism and cultural sensitivity to Adopters, Special Guardians and Foster Carers through Why Black Lives Matter videos. She is also an active member of the BAME and Women’s network in Essex County Council, advocating to the Corporate Leadership Team.


Hear from Melanie in her own words below.




Mel's contribution throughout her career have had a phenomenal and wide reaching impact on people, families, communities, colleagues, team and organisations . Her achievements during the pandemic have gone above and beyond, creating meaningful, lasting and sustainable change in terms of anti-racism, equality, diversity and well-being. Impact evidenced throughout this nomination.

Liz Howard, Professional Officer, BASW

I loved Melanie's entry in so many ways! From her managers endorsement and the way she talks about Melanie's own life experiences and how she uses those experiences to enlighten others, to the way Melanie works within her team being supportive yet challenging.

Sally Percival, Chair of the National Coproduction Advisory Group (NCAG) and TLAP partnership

Melanie has changed my life. She has helped me to forgive myself and be much kinder to ‘me’. She has such a wealth of experience and understands how I am feeling without me having to explain everything in minute detail. I look forward to her calls and…I know she has given me the tools I need to continue to be positive about my ability to parent.

Feedback from people supported by Melanie

She is an inspiration to the social work profession in thinking therapeutically, often being the sole resource in trying to change people’s behaviour and understanding.

Kelly Hierons, Operational Team Manger, Essex County Council


Joint Silver Award

Chris Vass, Stockton-On-Tees Borough Council

Joint Silver Award

James Thomas, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Natasha Karmali, Hillingdon Council

Lucy Law, Essex County Council

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