The 2018 Social Worker of the Year awards took place in London on Friday 30th November. Entries for this year's awards open on Wednesday 3rd April. #SWA19

Gary Spencer-Humphrey, Hampshire County Council

Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year



Gary’s strong commitment to community-based social work made his application stand out.

Since qualifying in 2016, Gary has used a range of community resources to help people build resilience. This has included taking the time in his lunch breaks to visit the town centre and speak with shopkeepers about opportunities available to service users.


In one case, Gary’s local knowledge enabled him to support a 40-year-old woman with a severe and enduring mental illness to reconnect with her local community. He knew that a local charity was looking for peer support volunteers and after discovering that the woman had undertaken a mentoring course at college, he was successfully able to link her to the service.


The service user described Gary as “very calming” – a sentiment echoed by colleagues in his application. Gary is valued by his team as a “committed and reliable team player” who is mature, motivated and enthusiastic in his approach, and always supportive of others.


The judges were also impressed by Gary’s appointment to a mental health tribunal panel, and his extensive voluntary experience with St John’s Ambulance, a youth offending team, and as a special constable. They credited him as being a “very competent social worker”.


What was said about Gary:


“Super supportive, very committed, really keen on his own development. Hugely impressive and a good team member.” Zoe Betts, Owner, iamsocialwork


“Gary’s entry provided really strong practice examples and showed his ability to lead. He receives excellent feedback from service users and has shown great ability to link with his local community.” Jamie McEwan, Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2016


“Gary’s social work practice is enhanced by a wealth of knowledge and experience from a wide range of personal and professional life experiences. This is evident in the mature and calm manner that Gary approaches his practice, in particular in crisis intervention.” Jo Ackerman, Consultant Social Worker, Hampshire County Council


“He listened to what I had to say. Very knowledgeable.  Excellent. I felt very relaxed. He’s truthful. Very calming.” Service user feedback



  • Heather Kent, Adult Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2016
  • Jamie McEwan, Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2016
  • Rob Mitchell,Bradford Council
  • Ruth Hardy, Community Care
  • Zoe Betts, iamsocialwork



  • David Evenden, Hampshire County Council
  • Gary Spencer-Humphrey, Hampshire County Council - GOLD AWARD WINNER
  • Helen Simpson, Gloucestershire County Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
  • Lisa Holliday, Thurrock Council
  • Nicole Jones, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust