Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year


Helen Southgate

ORGANISATION: Suffolk County Council

AWARD(S): Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year

Helen Southgate stood out as a practitioner who is immensely dedicated to both improving the lives of the adults she supports and her own development as a newly qualified worker.


After achieving a MA with Distinction and an award for the best dissertation, she joined the adult integrated social work team where she had already spent time as a student. In this role, Helen has received high praise for her grasp of social work legislation, the quality of her mental capacity assessments, and her social work values and professionalism.


Helen is known among her colleagues for bringing an ‘infectious’ energy and enthusiasm to the team. Alongside her day-to-day work she has taken on the role of digital lead, which involves attending regular meetings on technology and sharing the knowledge she gains. She actively seeks out opportunities to further her professional development too, including undertaking additional training on Signs of Safety and shadowing other staff.


Helen has also successfully navigated an incredibly complex case involving a young adult who suffered a stroke, achieving a positive outcome. This did not go unnoticed by more senior staff, who described Helen’s level of empathy and approach to empowering the individual as ‘outstanding’. She is clearly a credit both to her team and the profession.


Supported by Devon County Council.



Silver Award

Anna Boddy, City of York Council

Silver Award

Sehrish Zeb, Essex County Council

Cheryl Dixon, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Naomi Thompson, Worcestershire County Council

Tracy Bell, Lancashire County Council

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