Mental Health Social Worker of the Year


Thea Radburn

ORGANISATION: Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

AWARD(S): Mental Health Social Worker of the Year

She’s not been in the job for long, but Thea Radburn has already demonstrated a strong ability for navigating the complexities and challenges of mental health social work.


After completing a degree in psychology and criminology, Thea began working as a social work assistant with people with dementia, learning disabilities and physical disabilities. This sparked an interest in pursuing a career in mental health social work, and she enrolled in the Think Ahead programme, becoming one of the first cohorts to study through this route. She became employed by the Trust after receiving her postgraduate diploma, and went onto complete her master’s degree alongside her first year of employment.


On top of her caseload, Thea has made time to deliver training to her colleagues and host social work peer-supervision sessions. She’s highly regarded by other health and care staff as an enthusiastic and devoted social worker, and a role model for the profession – but is also clearly valued by the service users whose lives she works to transform.


One individual even went as far as to put her forward for a staff award, writing in the nomination: “Thea’s calming and totally reassuring manner is a tonic and a rare gift.”


This is a standout nomination - an absolute pleasure to read. Thea has received an abundance of compliments and comments relating to her positive approach and this should be recognised.

Rachel Smith, Team of the Year Children’s Services Award Winner 2018

Thea's enthusiasm and person-centred approach really came across in her nomination, and the endorsements speaks for themselves in regard to her gentle, reassuring manner.

Vicci Livingstone-Thompson, Inclusion Gloucestershire

From the moment she began working with me I have been totally impressed with her kind, gentle but reassuring manner. Nothing seems to be a problem for Thea. It is time you were given official recognition which you so richly deserve. The Trust should feel proud to have you as part of the team but, more importantly, as a parent myself, your parents should feel enormously proud of you too.

Feedback from someone supported by Thea

As Thea's supervisor for the last 18 months +, I feel she has continued to grow as a confident and developing practitioner. Her effective ability to understand holistically the entirety of an individual, and always giving the sense of undivided dedicated time; without issue despite managing what is understood as a competing, challenging and sometimes overwhelming role is astounding.

Joy Rickard, Senior Social Worker, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust


Clenton Farquharson MBE


Amanda Stewart, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Chloe Greenfield, North Lincolnshire Council

Gretta Perkins, South Gloucestershire Council


Ingrid Richardson, Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Jessica Jones, Norfolk County Council

Rebecca Barrow, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust

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