Peter Smith, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
It’s never easy to summarise a 40-year-long career in social work in just a few hundred words, but if there’s one thing that really stands out from Peter Smith’s time in the profession, it’s his tireless commitment to making a difference to the lives of adults in need.
Peter’s passion for working with people started in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, where he worked on a voluntary agricultural project for three years. He qualified as a social worker in 1978, working as a residential care officer with older people in East Yorkshire.
In his role at Stockton Borough Council, Peter has managed a range of in-house provider services and has been particularly instrumental in developing the local authority’s reablement service and a LiveWell hub for people with dementia, both of which have been recognised in national awards. He is valued by colleagues as a manager with “extraordinary integrity” and a calming and supportive attitude, who always makes time for his staff and never loses sight of the vulnerable people services are there to support.
Peter’s dedication to social work really has been ‘lifelong’, and as his boss aptly commented: “his legacy will serve as an example for all staff involved in social care”.
What was said about Peter:
Lily Hopkins, Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice Award Winner 2017: “Peter has clearly had a significant impact on his colleagues and social work practice in Stockton-On-Tees. Peter has dedicated his time to research and specific areas of social work practice, whilst being involved in a variety of projects within adult services.”
Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Patron and Shadow Children’s Minister: “Peter has amassed an impressive array in his career of over 40 years. I am sure that his work with the dementia hub will continue to help those into the future.”
Wendy MacDonald, Inspector, Care Quality Commission: “Peter was my Service manager for three years. As a manager, Peter has been one of the best. He never made me worry about going to him if I was having a concern and would always spend time to work through issues without blame or criticism, exactly what is needed in a busy service.”
Ann Workman, Director - Adults and Health, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council: “Always professional and working to the highest standards, Peter never loses sight of the ‘person’ he is supporting and working to assist. Reviewing Peter’s achievements showcases the outstanding contribution he has made throughout his career and it is no exaggeration to say that in my view Peter is the ultimate social worker whose legacy will serve as an example for all staff involved in social care.”
- Andy Butler, Surrey County Council
- David Akinsanya, Broadcaster, Journalist & Campaigner
- Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Patron & Shadow Minister for Children & Families
- Gary Spencer-Humphrey, Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2017
- Glen Garrod, ADASS President
- Jackie Dowding, Children’s Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2017
- Lily Hopkins, Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice Award Winner 2017
- Gail Faulkner, Leeds City Council
- Janet Reed, Ministry of Defence
- Jenny Slee, North Somerset Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
- Peter Smith, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
- Tony Wright, Forward Assist