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Social Work Awards Founder Appointed as an MBE in New Year’s Honours List


The founder of the national Social Worker of the Year Awards has been appointed as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year’s Honours list.


Independent social work practitioner, Beverley Williams, has received the accolade for her services to the social work profession. She founded the Social Worker of the Year Awards in 2006 to recognise and celebrate the hard work and achievements of registered social workers in England.


Described as the “highlight of the social care calendar” by Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support, the awards are the leading celebration of social work in the UK. For the past two years the event has been held at the London Lancaster Hotel with almost 350 social workers, directors of service and leaders of the profession attending the awards ceremony. Prior to the Lancaster hotel, the awards were held at the Palace of Westminster.


Speaking of being appointed an MBE, Beverley said: “I’m over the moon to receive this honour. When I launched the awards I wanted to give social workers the recognition that they deserve. Acknowledging their success is so important – they do an extremely challenging job and work incredibly hard day in, day out, to have a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable children, families and adults.”


Beverley single-handedly ran the annual awards ceremony on a voluntary basis for five years while also working as a full time social worker and raising her family. Her drive and determination paid off and the awards attracted ministerial support and financial backing from headline sponsors Sanctuary Social Care, helping Beverley to raise the national profile of the event.


Further support from the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the formation of a media partnership with trade publication Community Care led to the development of the Social Work Awards Ltd., a registered charity with the sole responsibility of organising the awards. Beverley now sits on the charity’s Board of Trustees, maintaining an active involvement in the progression of the awards.


James Rook is the Managing Director of the awards’ headline sponsor, Sanctuary Personnel and sits on the Board of Trustees alongside Beverley. He was one of many colleagues who supported her nomination for an MBE. He said: “After spending 20 years working in the recruitment and delivery of social work services, I have met thousands of social workers and many have been inspirational, but none as inspirational as Beverley.


“Bev believed that she could make a big difference to the social work profession. She felt that she could change how the British public viewed social work by ensuring that positive practice was recognised and celebrated.”


Beverley will be awarded with her MBE at an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace later this year. For all media enquiries, please contact Abbie Smith at abbie.smith@genesispr.co.uk.