Social Justice Advocate Award 2022
ORGANISATION: Central Bedfordshire Council
AWARD(S): Social Justice Advocate Award winner 2022
Kirstie Baughan has dedicated much of her own time to promoting justice and raising awareness for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people.
Alongside her busy role as audit manager at Central Bedfordshire’s children’s services, Kirstie is the volunteer regional lead for Care4Calais and volunteers as an assessor for Refugees at Home to ensure asylum seekers are placed somewhere safe.
Kirstie remained committed to providing this support throughout the challenges of the pandemic – delivering English classes across the country during the national lockdowns, both online and in person, and visiting local asylum seekers. She has also organised day trips, including to nature spots and to London, advocated for better food provision in hotels and supported young people to advocate their needs to mental health services.
Kirstie has undertaken a Post Qualifying Master’s degree in Applied Social Work and her dissertation – based on experiences of social workers volunteering in Calais – was considered so effective that she was invited to speak at the 2021 European Conference for Social Work. She has also been successful in applying for NIHR funding to undertake further research on how local communities welcome and support asylum seekers.
As Kirstie’s manager aptly commented, Kirstie demonstrates a ‘huge commitment’ to the social work profession and her generosity with her time is ‘inspiring’.
Supported by BASW.
Ivor Wekpe, Birmingham Youth Offending Service
Andrea White, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Millie Kerr, Brighton and Hove City Council
Social Work Student Connect