Winners announced at the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2015
Sixteen inspiring social workers have been honoured for their commitment to social care and described as “inspirational ambassadors” for the sector after they took home top prizes at the national Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Awards were presented for a variety of categories across both children’s and adult services, including prizes for Social Worker of the Year, Team of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, and Outstanding Contribution to Social Work. The prestigious ceremony took place on Friday 27th November in London.
The event was attended by 370 practitioners and high profile figures from the profession which is endorsed by both the Department for Education and Department of Health. The awards are also supported by key organisations including the British Association of Social Workers, the NSPCC, UNISON, Local Government Association and Barnardo’s.
Helen Pye from the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was named ‘Overall Social Worker of the Year’ after winning the award for Mental Health Social Worker of the Year earlier in the evening. The Overall Social Worker of the Year Award is supported by headline sponsors Sanctuary Social Care, with the winner selected from the gold winners of each category by the Board of Trustees of the Social Work Awards Ltd. (the registered charity behind the annual event).
Helen is a member of the Focus Team for the Trust, which provides forensic child and adolescent mental health services. She was recognised for the profound difference she has had on the lives of the young people she works with and the contribution she has made to her team and wider practice in the region was also described as “unique and crucial.”
James Rook, Managing Director of Sanctuary Social Care and Trustee of the Social Work Awards Ltd., said: “Helen has everything we were looking for in our ‘Winner of Winners’ this year – an ability to positively transform services at the same time as doing excellent frontline social work on a daily basis.
“The Social Worker of the Year Awards keep on getting bigger and better every year and the 2015 ceremony was our most successful event to date. It was a fantastic evening and we heard about some truly inspirational practitioners, teams and organisations and crowned winners who are undoubtedly ambassadors for the profession.”
He added: “Being recognised on a national scale is an outstanding achievement not just for our winners but for all of our 68 finalists and I’d like to personally congratulate each of them. They had to fight off some stiff competition to be shortlisted so they can extremely proud of everything they have achieved in their careers.”
The 2015 award winners are:
- Children’s Social Worker of the Year – Joy Manley, Cafcass
- Adult Social Worker of the Year – Harprit Rai, Birmingham City Council
- Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year – Stephanie Mills, Rochdale Borough Council
- Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year – Elizabeth Spencer, Birmingham City Council
- Practice Educator of the Year – Rob Hawley & Lisa Beris, Derby City Council
- Student Social Worker of the Year – Tonia Dubidat, University of Birmingham
- Principal Social Worker of the Year – Rob Mitchell, Calderdale Council
- Mental Health Social Worker of the Year – Helen Pye, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
- Team of the Year, Children’s Services – Special Guardianship Order Support Team, Essex County Council
- Team of the Year, Adult Services – Community Offer Team, London Borough of Barnet
- Team Leader of the Year, Children’s Services – Maureen Roscoe-Goulson, Suffolk County Council
- Team Leader of the Year, Adult Services – David Minto, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (in partnership with Northumberland County Council)
- Creative & Innovative Social Work Practice – Hospital Extended Services, Birmingham City Council
- Best Social Work Employer of the Year – Cafcass
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Anju Bhatti, Optalis
- Outstanding Contribution to Social Work – Bob & Annette Holman
- Overall Social Worker of the Year – Helen Pye, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Each of the Gold Award winners will now be invited to attend an exclusive Parliamentary Reception which will be held at the Palace of Westminster in the spring. The reception will be their opportunity to celebrate their achievements with representatives from the Department of Health and Department for Education.
During the awards ceremony silver awards were also given out to the runners up of each category and every finalist was presented with their own certificate in recognition of their achievements.
The Social Worker of the Year Awards were founded in 2006 by independent practitioner, Beverley Williams MBE, with the aim of improving the understanding and reputation of the profession.
This year the awards have been supported by headline sponsors Sanctuary Social Care; Corporate Partners, the British Association of Social Workers; and category supporters Core Assets, NSPCC, iMPOWER, UNISON, Local Government Association, ECL: The Care & Wellbeing Company, Barnardo’s, Kent County Council, Hampshire County Council and Devon County Council.