The 2018 Social Worker of the Year awards took place in London on Friday 30th November. Entries for this year's awards open in April 2019. #SWA18

Rebecca Payne, Gloucestershire County Council

Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year



Rebecca Payne is a social worker who puts the extra into extra-curricular. During her social work degree, she worked as a domiciliary care worker, volunteered as an advocate, and worked for a self-harm helpline. In her assessed and supported year in employment, she undertook training in basic telecare assessments, and has used the knowledge gained to support colleagues, reduce waiting times and risk, and improve people’s quality of life.


As a result, Rebecca’s colleagues at Gloucestershire County Council recognise her as a practitioner who has made an “impressive impact” early on in her career, always going the extra mile for her clients. Her nomination detailed her ambition to become a practice educator - she is passionate about social work and sharing learning, and has already arranged a session to promote and consolidate reflective practice within her team.


Rebecca continues to take on increasingly complex cases and her ability to manage this work successfully was evident in the feedback from service users, which described a social worker who consistently puts people’s rights at the heart of her approach.


The judges praised Rebecca for her fantastic achievements, her ambition and the positive relationships she has clearly created with people she supports and their families.


What was said about Rebecca:


Gareth Benjamin, Mental Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2017: “Rebecca has clearly created positive relationships with her service users and their families and worked towards implementing care plans which are aligned to their wishes. He ability to engage a person who felt 'looked down upon' by professionals into mandatory meetings regarding their children must have been difficult and it is inspiring to read that Rebecca achieved this.”


Vidhya Biju, Adult and Overall Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2017: “As an NQSW, Rebecca's contribution has been exemplary. She has evidenced excellence in working in complex cases and is presented as highly motivated and inspirational.”


Service user feedback: “We found Becky to be very understanding and tentative towards our problems and our concerns. Becky's attitude and work rate was exemplary in moving forward with our case involving our mother. We are sure that Becky will be a strong addition to your team".


Vanessa Matthews, Practice Development Social Worker: “Becky has demonstrated consistently that she understands the wider context and the deeper meaning behind her role. She is very reflective and is aware of the need for professional curiosity. I believe that she makes a real difference to the people she works and engages with.”



  • Cath Gormally, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • Gareth Benjamin, Mental Health Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2017
  • Gary Spencer-Humphrey, Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2017
  • Vidhya Biju, Adult and Overall Social Worker of the Year 2017
  • Zoe Betts, iamsocialwork



  • Alexandra Edge, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Northumberland County Council
  • Caroline McCormack, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council - SILVER AWARD WINNER
  • Claudia Lancashire, Derby City Council
  • Donna-Marie Wilson, Devon County Council
  • Kerri Davies, Kent County Council
  • Nikki Stenning, Devon County Council
  • Rabbi Deloso, Essex County Council
  • Rebecca Payne, Gloucestershire County Council