Jade Lawton Amazing Social Worker

Jade Lawton

Jade is a Fostering social work assessor and support worker at Wolverhampton City Council and was nominated by Emma Bradbury

Jade is a real team player, she steps in to help the team without being asked. She is a passionate and astute worker who goes above and beyond to support others and the people she serves in the community. Jade contributes to research and is enthusiastic and motivated in challenging oppression and advocating and supporting those who feel lost or unheard.  

Jade inspires me as her manager and her colleagues, she loves to learn and really gets involved in all projects and tasks offered to her. Jade is a private fostering champion and has worked hard to network, develop and progress not only her key areas but also in identifying other areas requiring training and promotion. Jade is a caring, professional and has a high level of integrity and pride in her work.  

Jade is a valued member of the team and also values her colleagues and the roles of other professionals. Jade is timely and well organised all of which are key skills in social work...most importantly she is a maverick of social justice, a real inspiration to the families and people she works with and someone who aspires to help people. Jade has the motivation, compassion and commitment to ensure voices are heard, rights are upheld and restorative approach's are taken in all aspects of her social work practice. I am proud to work alongside Jade and she makes me proud to be a social worker, she works hard to uphold the reputation of our profession and possesses the characteristics and ethics I believe all social workers should protect and uphold. 

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Richard Watts Amazing Social Worker

Richard Watts

Richard is a social worker for Swansea City Council and was nominated by Nicola Jones

Richard started in the Community Learning Disability Team on March 23rd 2020, that fateful day when Wales went into lockdown.  He was sent home with a laptop and told to work from there.  In the past two years he has dealt with some complex cases and all working from home.  As things have started to open back up, he has managed to go and visit some of his individuals and offer them the much needed support that they need and deserve.  

He offers support to his colleagues and is a font of knowledge, which is very much needed in social work today.  Nothing is ever to much trouble and he is a joy to work with.  

Samantha Evans Amazing Social Worker

Samantha Evans

Samantha is an Assessor Care Manager at RCTCBC Local Authority Fostering Service and was nominated by Amanda De Leon Capdesuner

Samantha has only recently joined the team having come from Resilient families where she worked with families who were either being stepped down from child protection / care and support or needed early intervention services. Prior to this Samantha worked in education.  
Sam has joined the fostering service and o task is to much for her. She has grasped her case load and the support for foster carers and is thriving in the team. 
Sam is the next generation of social workers and is embarking on a programme to advance her skills with the hope of pursuing a career in social work in the future. 
At a recent children’s activity a family requested Sam to be their fostering worker after speaking with her and I was in the fortunate position to be able to enable this to happen as the Team Manager  The young person and carer were really pleased as they made a good start to establishing their relationship at the event.  
Samantha is proactive and a team player and is sharing her skills and experience from her previous job with the team. Despite having only been with the team 6 weeks it feels as though she has been with us forever. Samantha is a pleasure to supervise and has lots of ideas of how we can improve the service.  
Sam is going to be a great asset to the fostering team. 
Feedback from colleagues to date:  
‘Sam is friendly, confident, she brings positive energy, has a positive outlook on life. Does a lot to improve her health and stays active.’ 
‘Sam is Very friendly, bubbly and eager to learn about her role and responsibilities.’ 
‘at my initial meeting with her she seems a pleasant and keen worker who is eager to become integrated as part of our team. She appears very personable.’ 

Amber Stevens Amazing Social Worker

Amber Stevens

Amber is a Social Worker at Essex County Council and was nominated by Natalie Denison 

Amber is an amazing Social Worker with an unwavering determination and aspiration to enable adults with learning disabilities and/or Autism to live a meaningful life.  She leads an innovative team, including colleagues with lived experience, to provide early help and support in peoples local communities, enabling them to maximise their independence, negating the need to rely on formal support.  

Amber is a reflective and insightful practitioner who has a unique ability to create clarity in thinking and practice, in sometimes chaotic and complex situations and systems.  She has the ability to reduce barriers, improve processes and provide a collaborative space in order to improve the lives of those whom she supports.  I know myself and colleagues value Ambers thoughtful and insightful advice. 

During the pandemic, Amber has volunteered on Essex County Councils ‘Lifeboat Crew’, a team of practitioners with previous care experience, who were prepared to step in when care providers were in crisis.  What this demonstrated is that Amber is as competent chairing a challenging meeting as she is supporting an individual to tidy their room or prepare lunch.  The flexibility and diversity of our profession is one that I love, no two days are the same.  Amber is the epitome of a Social Worker who can walk the walk and talk the talk and is always prepared for a new challenge.       

The indication of really good social work is having an intervention that quietly supports and encourages an individual to improve their situation, whatever that means to them.  As a profession we shouldn’t aim to swoop in and ‘fix’ things, instead support people to take control of their lives.  In this sense, we love seeing a great outcome for the individual, not seeking recognition for the work that we have put in.  That’s why it’s so lovely to have this opportunity to highlight Amber’s contribution to those she supports and let her know how much she is valued by myself and her colleagues. 

Brian Keenan Amazing Social Worker

Brian Keenan

Brian is a Social Worker in the Restorative Justice Unit at Wolverhampton City Council and was nominated by Julie Turner  

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a means of bringing the person harmed and the person responsible for the harm into communication. Brian is a real champion for RJ.  He regularly goes above and beyond for both parties involved and utilises his social work and trauma informed training to meet the needs of victims regarding ensuring their voices are heard and in providing or signposting victims to agencies that provide emotional support.  He is both meticulous and adaptable in the preparatory work with both the harmed and young person responsible for the harm to bring about the best outcomes for all.  Brian passionately believes in the positive possibilities attainable through RJ and this is back by research.  

He works from person centred framework, and this can mean that the process is sometimes lengthy.  Nonetheless, Brian is consistently patient with those involved and I have observed this as his manager time and again.  Feedback from victims, young people and colleagues demonstrate the impact of his work.   Brian often gets positive feedback, for eg. one victim feedback that the RJ process gave her 'closure' and sent a message to Brian, ‘I think what you do is amazing, and you are truly making a difference to people’s lives’.  Colleagues who have been able to observe Brian in action at a RJ conference, have expressed how moved they were by the work they observe Brian do.  In another eg' a case manager who supported the young person in the RJ meeting, stated it was a ‘powerful intervention to witness’  The young person in his evaluation stated‘ Hearing the victim’s feelings and what she went through has made me think differently’.  The victim felt the young person gained ‘forgiveness’ and that she gained ‘self confidence’.  She also stated she found the process a very positive experience.  

Brian also trains colleagues across the local authority of Wolverhampton in restorative practice.  

Brian is an amazing social worker and his work within restorative practice and RJ absolutely adheres to fundamental social work values and practice.  In a recent HMIP inspection our RJ unit was described by inspectors as 'impressive', in my opinion, Brian is instrumental to this. A colleague commented that this isn’t just a role for Brian– it's who he is; caring, compassionate, empathetic and brilliantly clever! Never judgmental, but always hopes and always believes in people. I absolutely concur! 

Emma Jackson Amazing Social Worker

Emma Jackson

Emma is a social worker at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford 

“Emma Jackson is a social worker, she has done her student placement in Hull, her ASYE and now she is an advanced social worker. I would say she is home grown and we can see the benefits this has had around her skill base.  

 “Emma worked in the locality team and by nature of her position she has been involved in proceedings work, which has meant that she supported children who were separated from parents. During the assessment and period, she went above and beyond to support the children and their parents, she knew that in order to get the right permanency plans for the children she needed to form a positive relationship with their parents and family members. Emma always has that notion that the day a child is separated from their family is the same day you start to plan reunification, if this is safe to do so. This was something families recognised.  
“For Social Workers, relationships are the means through which you work collaboratively with individuals and families to establish a shared understanding of what needs to be done and by whom, Emma did this with skill and consideration for everyone involved and she has gained great recognition from the people that count, the Public we serve. Well done Emma we are all so very proud of you in Hull.” 

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Michelle Andrews Amazing Social Worker

Michelle Andrews

Michelle is a Social Worker at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford 

I am nominating Michelle Andrews, because she is such a child centred, kind and caring social worker. Michelle has worked in social care most of her career and has stated with Hull Children’s Services for for almost eight years.  Michelle has worked in the locality teams and she has worked in the assessment teams, therefore working with children, young people and families who are in need of protection or children in care. Michelle is someone who is known for being calm, caring and pragmatic in her approach to the profession. Michelle, tells me she loves her role, that she loves social work. On a bad day she always thinks about her purpose and thinks positively about the difference she has made in her 8 years of service, she said that this keeps her focused with a positive mind set.  
Her fellow team tell us she is a team player who really cares about children. Social Work can be demanding but it is people like Michelle that see the good in things and this strength based approach really helps to lift morale and in turn impacts on children in a positive way. Michelle, is mature, calm and nurturing and offers the confidence that others joining the profession need when they are learning.  

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Stacey Abbott Amazing Social Worker

Stacey Abbott

Stacey is a Social Worker at Western Health and Social Care Trust and was nominated by Josie Doran  

Stacey s the friendliest, bubbliest, chattiest and helpful social worker that I have had the privilege to work alongside since taking up the role as manager.  Nothing is ever too much trouble for Stacey and no matter how busy she is with her own caseload and the challenges working in a busy family and childcare team she always has time to offer assistance to her colleagues, has really got to know the families she is working with and the children are regularly making her cards, drawing pictures and giving her little gifts.   

When others including myself are getting solicitor’s letters and complaints Stacey is getting pot plants and little prayers from the families that she has helped. 
I have given Stacey the prestigious title of my glamorous IT assistant as she is a wizard on the computer, something that deserves an award on its own.  Stacey has also taken on task and finish groups with senior management to help improve our service and is the champion of our Early Intervention project which has been really purposeful in connecting our services and providing targeted responses before problems escalate and become more difficult to resolve.    
An example of a really good piece of work that Stacey undertook recently involved creating a words and pictures narrative and safety plan for three young children who had been exposed to domestic violence.  Stacey took so much time to tailor this piece of work specifically to suit the children’s age and stage of development.  Like everything Stacey does the colours and drawings were bright, vibrant and really child centred.   
Every team needs someone like Stacey who is really able to bring that spirt of social work to life, boost team morale, smile and make a cup of coffee when the day is tough. I hope she continues to bring a little bit of sunshine to the families she comes in contact with as well as to her colleagues in the team and other professionals that she works with.  

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Leanne Day Amazing Social Worker

Leanne Day

Leanne works in the Fostering Support team at Rhondda Cynon Taff and was nominated by Shila Millard 

Leanne is a real team player and is always available whenever a team member needs help and support. 

She is very well organised and always the first one to put her hand up if there is no one available to carry out a task. Leanne organises our Duty rota and is very efficient. She even transported a child to his new placement as the child's own social worker was on leave. Leanne is very child focused and didn't want a stranger to move this child to his new foster carers as moving somewhere new is already traumatic and let alone being taken there by a complete stranger. Leanne offered to transport this child who she knows to his new carers so as to minimise the disruption caused to him. She arranged childcare for her own children so that she could take this child to the new carers when it wasn't her job to do so.  

Leanne has good communication skills and always ensures that all parties are kept informed. She is very professional in everything that she does. Above all she has a wicked sense of humour which keeps us all going as the job that we do is not easy. Leanne is highly regarded by all team members. 

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Ashleigh Davis Amazing Social Worker

Ashleigh Davis

Ashleigh is a Practice Lead at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford 

Ashleigh Davis is a practice lead with Hull City Council, prior to this role she spent most of last year as a Advanced Social Worker supporting children and young people, who were receiving support owing to being looked after, child in need or in need of protection. I am nominating Ashleigh because in the short time I have managed her she has demonstrated that she is child centred, caring and often goes above and beyond to get it right for children and young people. Ashleigh has a blended role, she is a practice lead and still has a case load in the Locality Teams, she loves frontline social work.  
Ashleigh loves having the ability to share her experience with other social workers and since joining the Hull Social Work Academy she has become our champion for Contextual Safeguarding and enabling learning on this issue across the sector in her role as practice lead. Just this month together with the Vulnerable Exploited and Missing Team and other organisations within the partnership she facilitated a month of learning on this subject, this was inclusive of a half day drop in session whereby all organisations shared their knowledge, research, tools and guidance to anyone working across Hull City Council. 
Alongside this role she is keen to continue her work within frontline social work and she holds a small case load. Recently Ashleigh received a letter from a parent about the support that she had received from Ashleigh and this really made me think about how fortunate we are to work with parents and families: 
Ashleigh was supporting this parent following the removal of her child and she has agreed for this to be anonymised: 
She wrote: 
Ashleigh was appointed as the social worker, the changes were instant. I finally had someone on my side! 
Ashleigh always maintains that it is myself that has made the changes. Which I accept it is me, but Ashleigh empowered me to want to pass the assessment, she made me believe in me.  
She did what was right for not just X  but me too. This change and support is where I changed, I started to believe that I could do it and that I wasn’t going to be tripped up by people who claimed to be trying to help me. She was brutally honest from day one, but this opened the door for me to reciprocate the honesty and take down my walls".  
Ashleigh is someone who has a passion for social work, she embraces the principles of the Children Act by ensuring she does all she can to ensure children remain with their families, as long as it is safe to do so. During the pandemic, Ashleigh ensured that in her role as PL, she reached out to as many people as she could to support them, she sees the added value of adopting Appreciative Inquiries to support and develop practitioners and she has embraced the support of other professionals to develop her skills. Ashleigh is someone that gets a real boost when her families share their experiences and feedback of her practice, this is either to praise or provide constructive feedback. 
Alongside her day job she had a passion for supporting adults with learning difficulties and always completes  PAMs assessments to assist with making informed decisions about children’s futures needs being met, she is someone who loves being a practice lead but thrives from working directly with families.  

Claire Edwards Amazing Social Worker

Claire Edwards

Claire is an AYSE Social Worker at Wolverhampton Council and was nominated by  by Alison Harris and Ben Ngundu

Ben said: 

Claire Edwards is a qualified social worker, practising her vocation at City of Wolverhampton Council; completing her Assessed and Supported Year of Practice.

Claire is described by her colleagues as having been “an excellent student” by her practice educator and an “absolute star now that she is a social worker”. Claire is learning her craft in a city with a rich diversity and in a team that have a culture of recognising strengths whilst being there when needed. Just like every social worker, no two days are the same, and things can happen when you least expect them, too – social workers are always prepared for the unexpected!

In August 2021, Claire had visited someone, with two colleagues from children’s services. Upon leaving the persons house she was approached by a neighbour in distress who said they had suffered a knife wound. The person, it transpired had taken their one chance to run from a risky person and situation. The persons children remained in the property.

Claire’s immediate response was to calmly listen to the person, make them immediately safe, call Police and ask her children’s colleague to arrange support for the children who remained in the property. Claire stayed with the person, continued to provide assurance and support whilst the Police undertook their duties.

Claire was definitely the person in the right place at the right time that day. She did not panic, she listened, believed the person and responded quickly, calmly and sensitively.  

Claire is so diligent and competent in her role, but is an ASYE social worker still learning and developing. Being faced with this situation must have been daunting. Her social work values, her whole family approach and being kind and caring was clearly in action that day.

Claire thoroughly deserves huge recognition for the kindness and care she showed, and for the positive impact she had on the family that day. She gave them hope and safety. Claire makes a difference in the lives of everyone she connects with. Claire's passion and pragmatism is inspiring to her colleagues, and an immense source of pride to her managers. She went above and beyond that day to stay with that person, she gave police statements to support a conviction, and she maintained her social work and safeguarding values and took swift and appropriate action to end a traumatic incident.

Alison said: 

During her supported year in employment, it seems that Claire has embraced every opportunity to learn and has worked with some extremely challenging and emotive situations with the support of her colleagues. I have been really impressed by Claire’s willingness to work with new situations and positive approach to being outside of her comfort zone. She has a superb personality and connects really well with people.

Recently, on going to visit someone with two colleagues at their home, Claire and her colleagues were approached by a woman in distress as they were heading back to their vehicles. She said that she had been stabbed and the person responsible was still in the property with children inside. They took immediate steps to hide her and call the police who came with ambulance support and children’s services came in to immediately safeguard the children. 

Claire shared this story with us to ensure we heard the positive outcome for the woman and her children which is of course extremely important. However, as a team we were so proud of Claire and how she and her colleagues were able to think on their feet and support this person at a time of extreme crisis when they may also have been in danger to ensure she got the immediate help needed as well as making sure the whole family were safeguarded. She also worked with the police to give a witness statement to help ensure the conviction. I would like to recognise Claire for this fantastic example of bravery and how we adapt in crisis to support people in need as well as the great work she has done generally in the past year. She has a great future ahead of her. 

Amanda De Leon Capdesuner Amazing Social Worker

Amanda De Leon Capdesuner

Amanda De Leon Capdesuner is a Team Manager (Fostering Support Team) at Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council and was nominated by Sarah Hanspal-Blake 

I am nominating my team manager for this award. She began working with us during the COVID pandemic which was such an unsettling/ challenging time.  

Amanda is a very supportive manager. She always tries her best to keep positive despite the challenges that we face daily in our role. She is a passionate social worker who works really hard. She also has other projects outside her role and works closely with charities.  

Amanda is a good listener, and allows time for all team members to speak. Being the team manager she has a demanding role, but ensures she gets back to you should any issues arise. Amanda will always update the team of any information and will ask for our views.  

Amanda shows an interest in us as individuals and encourages us to reach our full potential and growth.  

Amanda is approachable and I feel at ease talking to her. If I have something personal to share with her I feel comfortable and trust her.  

Amanda is fair and treats us all in the team equally. I feel valued and engaged in my team. 

Amanda said:  

I have an amazing team in RCT Fostering Support Team and we have some amazing foster carers who work with some of the most vulnerable children and young people.  

I have been a social worker for 26 years now and I am in awe of the skills and commitment of my team and the foster carers who we support and who make such a difference to the children and young peoples lives.  

I have always felt that it is a privilege to be a social worker and to share peoples personal  journeys, and go through the highs and lows with them, helping people to achieve their potential and working alongside them to enable this, often experiencing a number of challenges along the way.  

I would like it if you could say a big thank you to the team  and foster carers in RCT for being so supportive and committed to their roles and making my role as Team Manager a lot easier. 

Elfri Davis Amazing Social Worker

Elfri Davis

Elfri is a Social Worker at Buckinghamshire Council and was nominated by Charlotte Hughes

Elfri has recently passed her ASYE in Buckinghamshire, with flying colours. Elfri's passion is Social Work is evident in all of her communication with children and families, her peers and managers in the service.  

Elfri gives herself in her work and her care toward her colleagues and I want her to know that this is seen. Elfri has gone above and beyond to achieve best outcomes and is a real asset to her team and Buckinghamshire.  

Elfri has already taken student social workers under her wing and the feedback has been lovely to read. Social work is absolutely Elfri's vocation and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes her! 

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Rahima Khatun Amazing Social Worker 2022

Rahima Khatun

Rahima is a Social Worker for the Community Learning Disability team at Bradford Council and was nominated by Jack Skinner 

‘Rahima is amazing’… is what my colleague Emma used to text me after supervision with her… it’s only recently as I’ve got to know Rahima a bit more that I know this to be a cast iron fact. 

What’s so amazing about Rahima? Well, she is a passionate and highly committed Social Worker in a really busy Learning Disability Team. She brings her personality into work with her and is always willing to help her colleagues in whatever they are facing.  

But it’s with the people she supports that Rahima really shines. She uses her creativity, determination and always has a high ambition for people she’s working with.  Recently, Rahima took on some more legally complex work and her attitude and approach to this has been really refreshing. It goes to show that 18 months in practice shouldn’t define what you can and can’t do in the job. Not only did she make some pretty big calls about this particular situation which also required legal input, she was proved right by the person whose situation dramatically improved because of her input. Her approach made a huge impact and we are so grateful for her involvement. 

We thank you Rahima (can we have 10 more of you please?) 

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Hannah Brown Amazing Social Worker 2022

Hannah Brown

Hannah is a Senior Social Work Practitioner at Western Health and Social Care Trust and was nominated by Josie Doran 

Family and Child Care probably has seen more changes during COVID-19 than in the 20 years that I’ve been employed by Western Trust. One of the most transformational changes has been in the structure of how childcare services is delivered in Co. Fermanagh. The pilot of the generic team commenced in March 2021 when staff from the Gateway, Family Intervention and Looked After Children’s teams amalgamated. Like all Family and Childcare teams, we were struggling with heavy caseloads, high staff turnover, difficulties with recruitment and retention and the complexity of the work in general.  
As a manager I was both excited and anxious about what these changes would look like in day-to-day practice. Relationships between the three teams were incredibly good to begin with as we are all located on the same floor but as we all know processes differ from team to team and interpersonal dynamics are highly nuanced. I privately worried that maybe I actually didn’t have what it takes to manage such a demanding role in the new team.  
The support that I have got from everyone, particularly Hannah Brown, Senior Social Practitioner managing the new pilot has been and continues to be phenomenal. I have found her to be willing, available and approachable. Even though she is up to her eyes, Hannah takes the time to talk matters through. For me I have found her compassionate approach to be invaluable. 
In the midst of so much uncertainty I think most managers, if they’re honest, have felt vulnerable and insecure. Nevertheless we have to move with the times and Hannah has invested her time, energy and commitment to build confidence within the team and has role modelled behaviours of kindness that staff are able to transfer in their interactions with the children and families we work with. None of us are superhuman and that’s OK - but with leadership, support and direction from Hannah, Family and Childcare in the Western Trust is a great place to work.  

Lisa Finch Amazing Social Worker 2022

Lisa Finch

Lisa is a VEMT Team Manager Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford 

“Lisa Finch is a Team Manager for the VEMT Team which consists of a Team Manager, Contextual Safeguarding Officer, 3 Social Workers, Missing Persons Coordinator, Youth Engagement Worker and Team Coordinator (admin support). The team offers support to children and their families where there is a risk of exploitation and/or going missing and to the professionals working with them. Lisa has been in the team for a number of years and is very passionate about contextual safeguarding. The team are part of the Children’s Services and work closely with partners in, Police, Health, Education and the Voluntary Sector to offer a multi-agency response in order to identify and reduce risk/vulnerability wherever possible. 
“I am nominating Lisa, because her team speak positively of her, she regularly asks for a student to join the team and sees the real added benefit of sharing her practice wisdom as a PE. Part of her role is to help educate others and this month she has done a fantastic webinar about VEMT and she has shared this with social workers across Hull to strengthen their knowledge and improve their practice, this will clearly have an impact on keeping children safe and making them feel valued and cared for. Lisa has embraced the role as TM over a pandemic and has had to adapt and be creative I terms of reaching some of the most vulnerable children in the city, she has done this with determination and grit, so I nominate Lisa for the support she give to her team in such an important and vital role.” 

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Jane Ross Amazing Social Worker 2022

Jane Ross

Jane Ross is a Social Work Team Leader at South Lanarkshire Council and was nominated by Adele Ferguson

“Jane has shown the highest level of support to the team, staff and organisation.  Jane has the ability to demonstrate good practice and insight and strength when leading a busy statutory team.  Jane has ana amazing insight into families difficulties and offers over and above—she is amazing!” 

Lincoln Mhako Amazing Social Worker 2022

Lincoln Mhako

Lincoln is an AYSE Social Worker at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford 

Lincoln Mhako has been with Hull City Council since his social work journey began, he came as a student to the VEMT team in Year 1 and the Locality Team for final placement, at the start of the pandemic. I always recall Lincoln being really curious to how he would get the same learning through a pandemic, he said he wanted to be the best he could be and did not want to lose opportunities to provide a good service to families.  

Lincoln smashed his placement by ensuring that he took up every opportunity he could to shadow social workers and learn from families. Lincoln then joined as an ASYE and he has continues to embrace his protected year of learning.  
Lincoln has embraced learning, shown in his direct work with children and young people, where relationship building  has been highlighted as a real strength. Lincoln’s  inquisitive approach has supported the learning of his peers where he is open and honest in sharing his  experiences and worries; this  has opened up discussion and supported the learning and wellbeing of his ASYE peer group.  

Throughout his ASYE Lincoln has shown a strong passion for embedding anti – racist practice in social work. Together with his previous manager, he embarked on networking other agencies and Local Authorities to identity ways in which Hull City Council can promote and develop anti –racist practice across the workforce in Hull City Council.  He has continued to do this following the departure of his manager, sourcing information and experiential learning from others as we move to setting up our support group for BAME workers within our council.  

In doing so, he is driving forward the desire for Hull City Council to understand and embedded practice that recognises and embraces diversity, supporting policies and procedures that guide practice from front line to strategic level. His enthusiasm, knowledge and motivation in this work is inspiring and motivating. His Practice Educator Suzanne Smith and his TM Stephanie Aistrope, often share positive feedback about Lincoln. I felt this was a very worthy nomination and demonstrates confidence in the new generation of social workers in England.

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Chloe Adams Amazing Social Worker 2022

Chloe Adams

Chloe is a Social Worker at Wiltshire Council and was nominated by Fiona Hayward 

Chloe stands out this year for her work with her young people around lifestory work. Chloe adores this work and prioritises the importance of it. In a thematic audit this year, the auditor wrote of her work: “The Life-story annual updates demonstrate a commitment to continued reflection of the young person’s experiences and ensures that her heritage and history is not lost. This will be a powerful reminder of how her life has developed since entering the care system.”

This excellent, consistent work with all Chloe's children is worthy of recognition.

Sue Williams Amazing Social Worker 2022

Sue Williams

Sue is Social Worker/Practice Educator/BIA at Derby City Council and was nominated by Sonja Longdon 

Sue has been a Practice Educator for a number of years. However she became my Practice Educator recently as I embarked on the first year of the Social Work Apprenticeship. Sue was part of the interview panel and when I was accepted became my mentor. Sue instinctively knows how I need information, what I need as a student and the right time to challenge me.  

When the pandemic hit, Sue did everything she could for my learning to feel like business as usual whilst directing me to unpick the themes that would become highlighted such as poverty. Sue offered help outside of work hours with things like books, resources, training and sessions that she arranged because the world was upside down. 
When I lost my own father to Covid, Sue helped me to carry on. Allowing me space and time but guiding me to see that the reason I came to Social Work was still a bright burning light when all around was dark. I may not be the most academic person, but Sue reminds me that no one asks what grades you got when you knock on someone's door. Sue encouraged me to join BASW, and other networks that champion CPD and reflection in practice. Sue wears many hats and must have more than 24 hours in the day for all of her achievements.  

Jill Karadeniz Amazing Social Worker 2022

Jill Karadeniz

Jill is a Senior Specialist Safeguarding Practitioner at Northumbria Healthcare Trust and was nominated by Emma Fortune 

Jill was my mentor in my final student placement and she instilled so much passion and love for the social work role into me despite the complexities of Covid-19. She shares her skills and knowledge in a way that positively shaped my learning, improving the way I assess situations and truly understanding the value and importance of individual lived experience. 

Jill lives and breathes her social work values and despite her many years in the profession, she still has a burning desire to promote excellence in all that she does. Jill really advocates for some of our most complex individual cases, challenging judgement and dispelling stereotypical assumptions and this hugely increases individual experiences, empowering individuals through increasing self-esteem and the promotion of dignified and respectful care.  

Jill is also very passionate about Making Safeguarding Personal and I've carried this into my practice, always holistically assessing the case and ensuring I am able to analyse thr true impact that interventions may have on a person's life. Jill is currently completing her Practice Education Award and whoever her future students are, will be very lucky to have her guiding their learning and positively influencing their practice. 

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Debbie Sharples Amazing Social Worker 2022

Debbie Sharples

Debbie is a Social Worker at Salford Royal Foundation Trust / Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust and was nominated by Carolyn Deacon

“Debbie is an amazing social worker.  She has worked tirelessly as the duty social worker for the Ramsgate House community mental health team in East Salford, supporting members of our community with the most complex needs.  She always went over and above what was required of her.  She always came in with a smile on her face and ready to help whoever came through our door.  She was responsible for responding to people in crisis, whether they were known to the team or not.  She has spoken to hundreds of people experiencing suicidal ideation and crippling psychotic experiences over the years, through conversations that will have been life saving.   
“When not responding to mental health crises she sees an endless stream of people requiring advice and support with their health, caring roles, benefits, housing, immigration or safeguarding issues.  She is the best multi-tasker and always gets through her to-do list.  Sitting on the duty desk at Ramsgate House can feel like you've been pinned to a brick wall by the sheer volume of queries coming at you from all angles, but Debbie remained cheerful and professional even on the toughest of days.  
“Even though she celebrated her 60th birthday a couple of years ago she has endless energy and enthusiasm for her job and has just qualified as an AMHP.  She will be excellent at this role as a gifted multi-agency worker and a true champion of people's rights.” 

Lisa Smales Amazing Social Worker 2022

Lisa Smales

Lisa Smales is an Advanced Social Worker at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford 

“Lisa has worked for Hull for over 10 years, in this time she has worked in a variety of services and teams and has made a significant contribution to children and young people.  

“During the Pandemic Lisa worked around the clock with her colleagues in the North of the City, she worked to ensure that families had what they needed, to ensure that they had the basics of food and adequate shelter. Lisa thought on her feet and ensured that the voice of the child was promoted in a variety of ways.  

“One of the innovations was to adopt the Mind of Your Own (MOMO) Application, so that children and young people could share how they felt. Lisa could see the benefits of this and she quickly arranged sessions with social workers, IROS and Team Managers to ensure they all embraced this approach. Lisa is a Hull Social Worker through and through, she was born and raised in this City and has a real passion for helping people who are disadvantaged. 

“Lisa started to support students during 2021, it was through the pandemic and she thrived when she supported her first student through their placement, she was buzzing when this same student secured a social work post for Hull.  
“During 2021, Lisa was faced with a very difficult visit, a child was struggling to breath, she acted on her feet and got help, she supported the family, kept calm and showed high levels of resilience, which helped the parents and the child. This was such a difficult visit and emotions where high afterwards, but Lisa did what a good social worker does, she went to her Team Manager for help. Lisa has continued to support children and importantly the social work profession, by coaching and supporting apprentices and social workers.” 

Andrew Gambrill Amazing Social Worker 2022

Andrew Gambrill

Andrew is an Academy Social Worker at Warwickshire Council and was nominated by Aston Eva

“Andrew is the reason that I am still a Social Worker. I had a really difficult time through my ASYE and he ensured that I took time off and came back to work with a different mindset. If it wasn't for him I would not be a Social Worker today. He really empowered me.” 

Irene Ngoye Amazing Social Worker 2022

Irene Ngoye

Irene is a Social Worker at Wiltshire Council and was nominated by Fiona Hayward

“I would like to nominate you, Irene, for your stand out ASYE portfolio this year. You clearly honestly and openly told us about your development throughout this year. Your ability to reflect and apply research in highly relevant ways was truly memorable and all whilst writing in English which is your second language. Well done!” 

Rachel Gavin, Cathie Long and Mary Cartlidge Amazing Social Workers

Rachel Gavin, Cathie Long and Mary Cartlidge

Rachel, Cathie and Mary are Independent Social Workers and were nominated by Zoey Lusted

“These ladies are the three musketeers! I've learnt so much from them and their webinars teaching parents about rights, they're amazing. Rachel also assessed my son, and my goodness, did she assess his needs, it was like she'd known him for years! I now feel like I can look after and advocate for my disabled son with ease, I know the law and they've made me confident and able to challenge any issues I come across. They are a credit to the profession. My son has gone from a struggling, shy and poor mental health man to a confident, able and quite simply running the show with confidence!” 

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Emma Rooney Amazing Social Worker

Emma Rooney

Emma is an Academy Social Worker at Warwickshire County Council and was nominated by Aston Eva

“Emma is the reason that I am still a Social Worker. I had a really difficult time through my ASYE but she ensured that I was fully supported to make huge decisions about my career and my belonging within WCC. She really empowered me.” 

Rachel Pearce Amazing Social Worker

Rachel Pearce

Rachel is a Supervisor Social Worker at Wiltshire Council and was nominated by Fiona Hayward

“I would like to nominate Rachel who has achieved so much this year. Rachel supports me in our work around diversity and inclusion here in Wiltshire. 
She was involved in the Outlanders book, she has been nominated and sits on the WRES panel to represent social care. She also supports with our cultural competence workshop Assessing through a cultural lens here in Wiltshire. And as for her day job, she supports our foster carers in developing cultural awareness and knowledge.”

Celimpilo Zwane Amazing Social Worker

Celimpilo Zwane

Celimpilo is a Senior Social Worker at London Borough of Barking & Dagenham and was nominated by Harriet Spence

“Celimpilo is a knowledgeable, confident and highly enthusiastic social worker. Celimpilo is always willing to go the extra mile to support her colleagues and manager and is a champion for the children and families she supports, remaining focussed on avoidance of drift and delay. Not only is Celimpilo highly motivated when it comes to her families, she manages to spend her free time attending various running events, regularly participating in marathons and other long distance running events and all the while remaining positive and upbeat. We salute you Celi!” 

Anna O'Brien Amazing Social Worker

Anna O'Brien

Anna O’Brien is a Social Worker at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford

“Anna O’Brien was shortlisted for Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year - which she went on to win this year, this is a huge achievement for Hull and for the profession of Social Work.

Anna’s manager, Claire, describes two of the ways Anna has gone above and beyond. Claire said: ‘During the pandemic, Anna co-ordinated a community response to helping those families who were isolating due to ill health and had no extended family support.  She called local charities and businesses who could help fund activities, food or general help. Over the course of the lockdown she delivered food parcels, activity packs and booklets around Covid to help children who were worried and parents who struggled to explain this in a child-centred way. Anna did some of the activities on FaceTime, she dropped off colouring pens and games in gardens, and this helped those families living in poverty stimulate the children during those worrying times.’

Anna recently advocated for all ASYEs at a Skills for Care event, her social work journey has been exemplar to date. Well done Anna!” 

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Esther Barr Amazing Social Worker

Esther Barr

Esther is a student social worker at Calderdale Council and was nominated by Joanna Bennett 

“Esther is a student social worker within a long term older people's locality team. She has really embraced working with older people in a person-centred way, utilising their strengths and going above and beyond to support those living with dementia in the community.  

“Esther has recently supported an individual where it was felt 24 hour care may now be needed due to advancing dementia, however Esther has worked creatively and has upheld the individual's rights, maintaining their independence in the community. “The individual was going out into the community to their local Tesco and was forgetting to pay for items. Esther worked with the individual’s family and the Tesco manager, and came up with a solution of family buying gift cards, which the Tesco staff will keep behind the counter, so they can use this if the individual forgets to pay. Esther went further than this and is arranging dementia awareness training for the Tesco staff, and also getting leaflets for them to put up in their staff room and around the Tesco store.”

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Elvin Cochrane Amazing Social Worker

Elvin Cochrane

Elvin is a Education Welfare Officer at Education Authority Northern Ireland (EANI) and was nominated by Adam McKeown

“Elvin is very passionate about supporting young people to achieve their full potential. He uses creative methods to engage service users utilising his skills in music production. Elvin always goes the extra mile to meet the needs of his service users, often working additional hours.

“I am aware that Elvin was recently completing 'beat boxing' with a school refuser and his intervention with young people is always well received. He also brought his music producing/mixing devices in school to engage a group of young people. It is excellent how he incorporates his music skills to practice.

“I would regularly receive excellent feedback from families and professionals alike regarding Elvin. Elvin is a great advocate for Social Work in the Education Welfare Service. He recently facilitated an employability fair at the University of Ulster where he promoted our agency. I feel that he is a great role model for the service users he supports. 

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Andrea Cheesbrough Amazing Social Worker

Andrea Cheesbrough

Andrea is a Social Worker (Safeguarding team) at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford

“Andrea is someone that makes people smile daily, she has a sparkling personality and a “can do attitude” - when things need to be done she is the person in the team with her hand in the air, always wanting to help others.  
“Andrea, is open and honest and when she works with children and families they say they know where they stand, her honesty often complimented. Andrea is described by others as a great advocate for social work and she has been pivotal in establishing a culture of learning in her team, she embraces the supervision of students and thrives from seeing others grow. Andrea is person-centred and ensures that she embraces Hull’s social work values in her everyday work.  
“Andrea’s work in child protection shows an ability to engage with families and to form relationships that result in better outcomes for Children and Young People. Andrea is a persistent social worker, so she doesn’t give up, she keeps going and ensures she manages risk well. This often means that her persistence and inner desire to help families results in less need for legal orders. 

“Andrea is someone who others look up to, I have nominated Andrea, because I think she deserves a Big Shout out during World Social Work Month and because she is just the type of social worker I would want if I needed help.” 

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Marcella Leonard Amazing Social Worker

Marcella Leonard

Marcella is an Independent Social Worker at Leonard Consultancy. Marcella was nominated by Noreen McBride and Pamela Mooney

Noreen said: “Marcella has been instrumental in changing the direction and management of CSE cases in NI following her report. She is also on her 3rd round of training social work staff across the region to be qualified and competent risk assessors which has led to the development of services in each Trust and dramatically improved the confidence and skills of staff in this area.”

Pamela said: “Marcella has been instrumental in raising the profile of Public Protection, Sexual Risk Assessments and Harmful sexual behaviour worldwide. Marcella has been influential and has trained staff across Northern Ireland in the areas of Child Protection and Safeguarding, her invaluable input in this important area thus enhancing decision making and safeguarding across the Region. 

Marcella led on the CSE review in Northern Ireland and has been key in progressing and identifying key areas of learning.  

Marcella has assisted the Region in developing better outcomes for Children, young people and their families. 

A truly amazing Social Worker who always keeps the Child at the Centre of everything.” 

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Georgia Vickers Amazing Social Worker

Georgia Vickers

Georgia Vickers is a Social Worker at Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford

“Georgia has been with Hull City Council over three years and in this time she has supported children in need, children in need of protection and children looked after. Georgia has always been in a role whereby she has supported the growth and development of her colleagues, which was something she really thrived on.  

“Georgia is very child centred and when children need something she is always at the end of the phone to see what she can do. During the Pandemic Georgia has adapted her work and despite the changes to hybrid working, she was highly complimented on her legal work, she kept families at the centre of her work and the solicitors and Judges praised her for the efforts she made during the pandemic and on her professionalism during Court.  
“Georgia has made such an impression on one family that they have made a decision to give their daughter a middle name of Georgia, this demonstrating just how important her support and role has been to them. When Georgia discovered this, she said it was one of the happiest times of her career. I am nominating Georgia because she is kind, caring and passionate about social justice, she keeps children at the heart of all she does.” 

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Daniel Wilkins Amazing Social Worker

Daniel Wilkins

Dan is Head of Service for Wiltshire Council’s Learning Disability & Autism Service (LDAS) and was nominated by Laura Roberts 

“Dan has worked in Wiltshire Council since 2019 and since this time has supported and redeveloped his service area.  Dan has a vast amount of knowledge from working in different agencies and brings a wealth of experience to his current role. 
“One of Dan’s outstanding strengths is his focus to ensure that he hears the voice of the people we support, Dan ensures that with all service developments that the voice of those with lived experience is heard and their outcomes and feedback are central. Dan ensures that there are mechanisms and considerations of the person in his service development plan and any documentation is representative of what people feedback as being important to them. Dan advocates at both service and directorate level in terms of the feedback he receives. Dan embraces engagement as part of his working ethos and is willing to look outside of the box for solutions when gaps are apparent.  
“Dan is a progressive Head of Service who ensures that his services develop around the people we support. Dan adds clarity to his vision and always works in multi-agency / multi-service focused way to ensure that information is triangulated and escalated as needed. He also ensures information is shared in the correct arena to achieve the best outcomes for the person. Dan meets on a regular basis with all his service and teams to support conversations and hear what is working / not working. 

“Dan is solution-focused, during the pandemic not only did Dan continue to support his service area, he also enabled his service to grow to ensure that people with an Autism diagnosis in Wiltshire are correctly supported. This development also involved ensuring that his teams had the correct training, and that the training was representative of what people with Autism felt was important for staff to know about when supporting them.” 

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Kareena Miller Amazing Social Worker

Kareena Miller

Kareena is an Advanced Practitioner at King’s College Hospital and was nominated by David Glover

“Kareena is a fantastic Social Worker who leads the King's College Hospital Homeless Team and the A&E Social Workers. In her spare time, Kareena volunteers for a charity that writes letters to persons who are in treatment for a cancer diagnosis - Kareena has sent hundreds of letters aimed to tackle themes of isolation, loss and wellbeing.  

“Kareena goes above and beyond in all of her practice, she is passionate and enthusiastic in her approach to supporting patients, colleagues and students. As a colleague, I find Kareena to be a great source of support, inspiration and positive energy - I am incredibly lucky that Kareena is a member of our King's Social Work service.  

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Emma Townsend

Emma is Head of Services at Wiltshire Council and was nominated by Laura Roberts (nee Pitman)

Emma is currently employed as the Head of Service for Wiltshire Council Living-well directorate, Emma has worked for Wiltshire Council for the duration of her Social Work career. Emma has worked across various service areas, this enables her to have a comprehensive experience and  a knowledgeable understanding of Adult Social Care and the Commissioning Directorate, as well as positive relationships with other internal & external colleagues / service areas. 

Emma has supported her teams to work remotely during the pandemic and is currently supporting them to focus on a new hybrid way of working. Emma through her experience is an extremely competent, calm, fair and inclusive senior manager. Emma’s focus is always solution focused and she has supported the development of the Prevention and Wellbeing Team in the last year, they support Wiltshire Council’s offer of support  to those who do not meet the Care Act criteria but may need some advice or guidance.  Emma is always willing to listen to suggestions from staff and look at how the service can be developed with the aim of hearing the voice of the person, as well as the focus being on what is the best outcome for those we support.  Emma is always keen to hear from staff and is an active member of the Staff Reference Group which meet on a monthly basis. 

During the pandemic Emma was able to support her teams through the  response stage and is always willing to support when there are challenging situations or when situations change. Emma actions reflect her ‘can do’ attitude towards situations that can arise in adult social care, Emma ensures and develops her teams to ensure  that services are right for the people in our communities. Emma leads with integrity and honesty (which is central to the outcomes she achieves across her service area). During the pandemic Emma was also able to continue to develop her service and teams, she portrays an ethos of growth and calmness even when  the pressure is on, which is  no mean feat!

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Yazzmine Mortimer

Yazzmine is a Advanced Practicioner and Practice Lead for Hull City Council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford

Yazzmine Mortimer is a practice lead for Hull children and young people service. Yazzmine has been an advanced social worker for many years and has recently transferred to the Social Work Academy.

Yazzmine has worked for Hull City Council for over 8 years and she is a fine example of our "grow your own" from student- SW- Advanced Practitioner she is a real credit to the profession. Yazzmine has flourished professionally, she has loved working with families and always puts herself in the children's shoes. Her passion remains within safeguarding and she had an excellent reputation amongst partners and colleagues in terms of her support to other social workers. Yazzmine ensures that she makes balanced and informed decisions about children and ensures she links this to research and what is best for children, she continues to strive to provide help for other people. Yazzmine has always worked in the public sector, she started out in Policing and also tried her hand for leisure as a lifeguard, her past experiences all contributing to helping others.

During 2022, Yazzmine has moved in to a new role as a practice lead and insisted that during this transition she continued to support children she was supporting until their permanency plans had been reached in the Court, she did this to ensure that the children and young people did not change the SW, she knew this would be harder in her new post, but her selfless nature shone through and the children benefited. Yazzmine has thrived from expanding her skills and knowledge relating to PREVENT and the assessment of risky adults. Yazzmine has told me her love of research and practice during university lead her to this role and she has thrived from coaching other social workers.

This year Yazzmine is going to be presenting to social work England and with Children Social Work Matters to share best practice in terms of completing work with adults to enhance their ability to protect, this is soething she excels in. Yazzmine know that when practice is shared magical things happen across organisations, your practice is contributing to children being safeguarded in Hull Yazzmine and we wanted to share your continued service with BASW as a fine example for celebrating social work.

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Kimberley O'Neill

Kimberley is a social worker for the Wolverhampton Youth Offending Team and was nominated by Lianne Evans

Our team have completed considerable training around trauma informed practice and Kim has fully embraced this approach and been an integral part of embedding within our work. Kim committed a great deal of time to fully understanding how early childhood trauma impacts upon the development of children and can affect their behaviour and decision making in later life. She proactively sought additional resources that have enabled her to share her knowledge with the young people she has worked with, helping them to understand their own trauma and how it impacts upon their responses to certain situations. She has developed session plans around psychoeducation to teach children about the brain, using creativity and fun activities as well as material that is pitched at the right level for young people to relate to. In turn, she has been able to develop and deliver further training to the whole team around how to work in a trauma-informed way.

This has involved her sharing her resources around the theory underpinning the work, but also guiding others in delivering practical sessions that are attuned to the needs of young people who have experienced trauma. Kim has also delivered these training sessions to schools and other professionals which has had a significant impact on outcomes for the young people we work with. She has developed trauma informed intervention plans with residential staff, social workers and schools that clearly reflect the needs of young people and what we can do to respond appropriately to them. Her passion for this area of work has helped the management team to support staff to fully embrace this way of working, and it has impacted upon how we write reports for Court and contribute to decision making on outcomes for young people who have offended.

She is a ray of sunshine in the team, always positive about young people and championing their rights and the importance of strong relationships. Her level of understanding of trauma informed practice has enabled her to advocate for all of her young people in a variety of situations. The work she has delivered is nothing short of inspiring.

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Patsy Jones Amazing Social Worker

Patsy Jones

Patsy is a Senior social worker at West Berkshire Social Services and was nominated by a client

Patsy is the most personable, kindest and empowering social worker.

Patsy has supported me since I was 17 and within supported accommodation, feeling stuck in my situation with regards to not having control over my finances due to control from my parents, and desperately wanting to get to university. Patsy truly empathised with my situation like no one ever has, she supports me still throughout my university journey offering a form of support where needed and also stability. This is shortly coming to an end for a personal advisor to take over. She has had the care to discuss the code of ethics and professional standards with me, relevant law and emotional support for me during my social work degree and has empowered me throughout these first two years of my social work degree. She has been my stability and my outlet, having known my background in detail to understand my strengths and weaknesses. She uses the most empathetic language to make me feel cared for. I know she is extremely talented in her work, as she articulates her words so well and supports my way of thinking. Recently I have bought a car and for her to provide me with “I feel so proud of you” is the best thing for me, and as a student social worker to support my journey to help others. I feel proud of myself and my journey to university and helping others and this is all due to patsy. When I was in care everyone spoke so highly of her, including other young people and my previous social worker before transferring me over. I know she has a huge positive impact and this deserves to be recognised. She has changed my life and I believe I would have doubted my capabilities without her.

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Satvir Panesar Amazing Social Worker

Satvir Panesar

Satvir is an Advanced Practitioner at Graiseley Strengthening Families Hub and was nominated by Laura Geal

Satvir is my practice educator- she has honestly inspired me throughout my placement and been there for me throughout some difficult moments. I have worked alongside individuals that were supported by Satvir in the past, and the impact she has had on the families really shines through. The families we support speak so highly of Satvir and you can see how lives are changed with her support. Satvir always sees the good in everyone, she promotes the strengths of every family and encourages them to build on their strengths. Satvir puts her trust in me as a student and always makes me believe in myself even when my confidence isn’t the highest. She puts her trust in families too and has an amazing ability to motivate but remain understanding and ultimately so kind and thoughtful. Satvir has only had two students so far but I really hope that she chooses to continue as a Practice Educator and have more because I can’t think of anyone more suited to supporting students! She is promoting the core values of the social work profession which her students will carry forward into their careers too.

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Sally Cosgrove Amazing Social Worker

Sally Cosgrove

Sally is a Social Work Assistant at City of Edinburgh Council and was nominated by John Whitelaw

Sally is a highly committed Social Work Assistant in a busy Children and Families Practice Team. She is always willing to help children and parents she works with and is always there to assist Social Work colleagues. Sally has developed amazing restorative relationships and always strives for the most child centred best outcome.  
During the Covid Pandemic , Sally has shown some real creative practice , undertaking family time, assessments virtually . This has stretched to a baby being successful rehabilitated and supported by Sally using video between foster carers and mother to demonstrate handling and routines .  
Sally is a valued Team Member and is always optimistic, this motivates workers and the Team.

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Ruth Dye Amazing Social Worker

Ruth Dye

Ruth is a Senior Social Worker at Barking and Dagenham Children Services and was nominated by Francesca Hunt

Ruth is an amazing Social Worker and will always share her knowledge and experience to support her colleagues even when she is extremely busy.

Ruth goes above and beyond for the families she is working with. Ruth will often work late throughout the week to ensure children's wellbeing and safety is being promoted and met.

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Pauline Goff Amazing Social Worker

Pauline Goff

Pauline is a cafcass  social worker at cafcass and was nominated by Andy Goff

Pauline is a qualified social worker with 35 years of experience she chose to remain a social worker in practice rather than pursuing a career in management. She works for carcass ensuring the child’s voice is heard in public law proceedings. She excels at building relationships with the network and will help less experienced social workers think and reflect challenging decisions made.by LAs with respect and tenacity. Throughout Covid she continued to visit children in placement and families at home.  She holds a large complex case load yet never misses a deadline often working excessively long hours because it’s the right thing for children.  she is well respected by the judiciary and often. receives praise during the judgement.   Pauline works hard at keeping up to date and is now considered expert in interventions with young people involved in county lines. Her reports are considered as outstanding in every QA audit and she would never settle for less.   Her focus on the needs of the child is unwavering and expertly communicated. Her colleagues often describe her ability in enabling them to reflect on stuck cases and offering great solutions that achieve great outcomes. She also works with a group of unaccompanied asylum seeking young people who she supports to learn English. To do this well she undertook a course in TEFL which helped her with this task. This  group  of young people highly value her input, she helped thee prepare a welcome booklet for other young people and write about their journey to the UK a brilliant piece of therapeutic social work life story books for this group have been amazing and when linked with memory boxes so useful with dealing with trauma. Not only a brilliant impactful social worker but a great mum and wife.  

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Elizabeth Freeman Amazing Social Worker

Elizabeth Freeman

Elizabeth is a Practice Educator at Hull city council and was nominated by Claire Rutherford

Elizabeth has been working in her role for 7 months ,she is a Practice Educator. Prior to this role she supported Children in Need of protection and her practice was regularly praised by watchers such as the legal team and Independent Reviewing Officers, but most importantly she received many compliments from children and the families she supported. Elizabeth has joined Hull’s Social Work Academy to share her practice wisdom with students and newly qualified social workers and in the space of five months she has had a big impression on all the students and Hull University Colleagues. Elizabeth is a strong, nurturing and talented Social Worker who goes above and beyond to support the work force to improve practice and get things right for children and their families. At times she has worked around the clock to support other social workers and her team would say she is amazing.  
Elizabeth, has provided an exceptional induction programme for students, this is inclusive of regular evaluations and feedback on her performance.  A cohort of students compared this support to previous support as “day to night”. Many have said Elizabeth guidance has been outstanding. This is because Elizabeth is child centred, creative and full of enthusiasm, she has an impulse to be of service and I think this comes from her pure, noble intentions to improve the world we live in and to help as many people as she can along the way. Hull are super proud of Elizabeth and the work she is doing for students and newly qualified social workers.

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Natalie Gelly Amazing Social Worker

Natalie Gelly

Natalie is a Senior Social worker at National fostering Agency and was nominated by Jackie Estaugh

Natalie has been my supervising social worker for approximately 8 years - she is extremely knowledgeable, is definitely child-focused, and has an incredible way of supporting us. As a foster carer, I have experienced some very difficult situations, Natalie has always been very supportive, available, and able to advocate on behalf. She is very creative and positive with a ‘can do’ attitude. Regardless of her caseload size and other challenges I always feel that I am important, I am listened to, and I am valued which truly means a lot. Natalie has helped me to grow as a foster carer so much so that I am now undertaking social worker training. Natalie is an excellent advocate, is very amenable, and deals with difficult situations in a calm and composed manner but equally, is not afraid to challenge situations when needed. Having been a foster care for over 15 years I have worked with many social workers and know that Natalie is the epitome of what a good social worker is. As a student social worker, I aspire to be like Natalie, effective at my job, with a kind and warm approach. Natalie is extremely professional, is organised and reliable and is well-liked, and is held in high regard by all the children we have looked after. Natalie goes above and beyond her job if it means supporting a young person but remains boundaried. Natalie supported my last young person to move on to semi-independent living, for which he is truly grateful. I would nominate Natalie over and over again for her to get the recognition she deserves and for those in a more senior position to understand what an incredible social worker she is. I would be willing to provide any further information that may be needed. Thank you Natalie for all you have done and your ongoing support.

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Martin Hampton Amazing Social Worker

Martin Hampton

Martin Hampton is an Integrated Health Social Worker at London Borough of Camden and was nominated by Shabnam Ahmed 

Martin Hampton is “the social worker” any human being would want to support them in time of need.  I have known Martin for over twenty years now and his passion for social work has not waned.  Martin is skilled in many areas of social work, but particularly has expertise in working with adults who self-neglect and hoard.  This work, we know is one of the most challenging areas to work in.   

Martin embraces this challenge day and day out.  All throughout the pandemic, he continued to visit people with their consent and support some of the most vulnerable adults in our Borough.  Martin is well known within the social work fraternity; however, his humble character means he is often not in the limelight of social media as he does not believe in it.  

His interaction with adults and their carers is person centred, with a strong focus on building relationships and wanting the future for them that he would want for himself or his family. He is a social worker that places professional love, compassion at the centre of his practice. The feedback from the adults he supports, and their carers is phenomenal.

Some of Martin’s contributions throughout the years can be seen on various platforms such as: A webinar he co-delivered for the North London Social Work teaching partnership on self-neglect; A video about Family Group Conference – Alice in a picture portrait; Videos he has been involved in for Research in Practice; and videos through the School of Shabs You tube channel. 

Martin is exceptionally creative and dedicated to this profession.  For him this is not a job, but a passion to change parts of the system he interacts with positively and through the love and light of social justice.   

After being nominated as an Amazing Social Worker, Martin said:  

In my opinion (What Matters Social Work after Covid), I have reflected that regardless of Bion, Freud and Maslow, the myriad of theories I have been trained as a Social worker, the recording systems I use, the safeguarding meetings I attend, the process and procedures of adult social care - the only thing I really know for sure is that the quality of the relationship between the person seeking and receiving help and me giving help is the key to what kind of outcomes and opportunities are achieved together.  

That as the humanitarian diplomat Sergio Vieira De Milo stated the real challenges and real rewards are always the field where people are suffering and where people need a social worker. That, perhaps as Albert Camus had written that all truly important questions come down to individual kindness and that most people are better than you think, you just need to give them opportunity and a plan. We have grown older during the pandemic, the world has become stranger but there is always time for warmth, kindness, a conversation and a plan  

Best wishes to Shabnam, colleagues and social workers out there in the field now and during the pandemic.

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Hetvi Parekh Amazing Social Worker

Hetvi Parekh

Hetvi is a Tutor/Practice Educator/IRO at Nottingham And Nottingham Trent University and Nottinghamshire County Council and was nominated by Kiran Parekh

I am nominating Hetvi as she has gone above and beyond her role  both as an independent practice educator , personal tutor with students at Nottingham Trent and Nottingham university abs as an IRO with Nottinghamshire County Council. During the difficult time of the Covid 19 pandemic and even now, Hetvi continues to support the students mental health well being and give them pastoral support. On one occasion, she personally went to the students accommodation and helped her move to a different accommodation as the student was facing harassment and bullying. On another occasion, Hetvi continued to offer weekly support to a student who had experienced bereavement and a significant loss of a relationship. This involved giving weekend support and giving moral support and motivating the student to not quit the course. Hetvi also has worked with atleast 4 students who had anxiety issues because of the pandemic and spent time with them and helped them develop resilience. During the last year, Hetvi has supported students from the black and ethnic minority communities, recognised the challenges they faced and advocated for them as their practice educator. Hetvi’s passion about supporting social work students has enabled Many students to graduate successfully and be equipped with the skills to adversity and develop resilience. Hetvi also continues to champion the rights of children in care as an IRO with Nottinghamshire County Council. In her spare time, Hetvi leads a charity called Sewa Day Nottingham to alleviate food poverty and also support children and care leavers with activity packs and Xmas presents. Hetvi believes that austerity has a direct impact on children and their outcomes so constantly tries to support families through her volunteering efforts and using her skills as a social worker to make a difference. She runs a foodbank called Rushcliffe foodbank on a fortnightly basis to support children and families who have involvement with children’s centre, job centres etc . Hetvi’s commitment for social work, social justice and advocacy is reflected in all her efforts that she puts in during working hours and beyond Those! She has also been recognised by the Prime minister with a Points of Lights award in 2021 and a Nottinghamshire Hero award in 2020.

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Doreen Dove Amazing Social Worker

Doreen Dove

Doreen is AMHP lead/Social Work Unit Manager at City of Wolverhampton Council

Doreen Dove is my definition of an amazing social worker. She helped to set up the Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) Social Work Association in 2020 with two other Romani and Traveller social workers, which was the first of its kind in the UK and is affiliated with BASW. She is a committed change maker and advocate for the GRT community as well as a passionate social worker, AMHP lead and social work manager in Wolverhampton Council's mental health team. She lives and breathes the values of the social work profession and is committed to challenging the structural oppression faced by the GRT community. Doreen uses her own lived experience to raise awareness of the discrimination Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people face by leading sessions with social workers in Wolverhampton, helping them to reflect on cultural stereotyping and how they can better support individuals and families, particularly thinking about the trauma the community has faced over multiple generations.   
One of Doreen’s long term aims is to attract more from the GRT community into the social work profession and I will be working closely with her to help support this aspiration in Wolverhampton. She is a true inspiration and I have learnt a great deal from her, as have the social workers in Wolverhampton who feel incredibly lucky to work alongside her.  Doreen has also contributed to the book “The anti-racist social worker”, published in 2021, which encourages readers to consider what action they can personally take against racism and Doreen’s piece has helped support this call to action. Doreen is very humble and passionate, an inspiring leader and champion of human rights and this is why she is my nomination for BASW’s amazing social worker award!

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Deb Solomon Amazing Social Worker

Deb Solomon

Deb is a social worker for Derbyshire County Council and was nominated by Lucy Fitzpatrick

Deb is a caring and considerate colleague and a knowledgeable and friendly social worker. She goes above and beyond for her clients and colleagues and is an inspirational person, creating changes within the social work community by even creating positive changes and support for neurodiverse workers. She should be very proud of the impact she is having on social work.

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Janet Gillan Amazing Social Worker 2022

Janet Gillan

Janet is a Social Worker at NHS Highland and was nominated by Fiona MacLennan

Less than a year ago Janet joined the team and has inspired everyone with her enthusiasm and passion to be the best social worker she can be to those she works with. Janet goes above and beyond to ensure those she works with are supported and protected. In a relatively short time of being in a new team other professionals have recognised her wonderful work and professionalism. Janet inspires and supports others to be better at what they do and is a huge asset to the profession.

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Jessica Jackson Amazing Social Worker 2022

Jessica Jackson

Jessica is Senior Lecturer/Programme Lead BA Social Work and was nominated by Shelly McBride

Jessica is an amazing social worker because she generously offers her time & experience to supporting our volunteers at Derby Community Parent Programme CIC.  Our volunteers undergo 26 weeks of training in order to provide perinatal peer support to expectant and new parents.  Many of the families we support are facing multiple social & economic disadvantages and often have social care involvement.  Our volunteers provide 1-1 & community support for parents throughout pregnancy, labour, birth & the early days of parenting.  On many occasions Jess has attended our standard and ongoing training sessions to support the volunteers with their knowledge & understanding of the role social care plays in the lives of the families and babies we support.  As a result of the time Jess generously gives to the programme voluntarily, our volunteers feel more confident & well equipped to be able to support families to recognise social care input into their pregnancy as something they can platy an active part in, and as a resource to get the right support in place for them and their families as early as possible, supporting early intervention and sometimes preventing escalation of challenges.

Every session that Jess supports at is informative and she uses her additional knowledge and expertise around trauma & attachment to help the programme & our volunteers provide safe & effective peer support. Volunteers feedback that they have a greater understanding of the role of social care in supporting families as a result of these sessions and this insight & understanding supports them to provide effective & compassionate peer support.  Jess is engaging ad has inspired volunteers to consider accessing further training or education around social care. 
The unique dynamic of a peer relationship means that volunteers can often be the first person that a family expresses worries, fears or safeguarding concerns with.  Alongside training from DCPP and other health & social care professionals, volunteers are able to support parents to share their own concerns around their challenges, thus recognising the parents unique role in keeping children safe.  
She also provided support and training when our volunteers undertook a piece of engagement work around maternal mental health, loss & trauma.  She helped the volunteers to recognise the importance of self care & reflection to avoid burn out or compassion fatigue. 
Jessica's continued support and altruistic sharing of her expertise benefits both volunteers and parents.

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Natalie Paul Amazing Social Worker 2022

Natalie Paul

Natalie is a Senior Social Worker at East Sussex Council and was nominated by Scott Hampshire-Jones

Natalie Paul is a Senior Social Worker in East Sussex and I work alongside her as she has placed 2 young people in my therapeutic accommodation. Natalie level of communication is exceptional and the rapport that she has built with her young people and staff at the home is positive. Natalie works in a restorative way with her young people and has the balance of support and challenge which in my view has kept one particular young person safe, after contextual organised crime groups were attempting to exploit them. Natalie is the biggest advocate for her young people in multiagency forums and can challenge views of the professional network when there have been concerns about labelling young people as offenders and remind professionals that they are children first.

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Alexsha Anjalans

Alexsha is a Student Social Worker at Royal Holloway University and was nominated by Cleo Straughan

Alexsha is a dedicated, hardworking, passionate Social Worker, currently in her final year of studies. During her first placement she grew both personally and professionally to an exceptionally high standard. She is totally committed to her work, focussed on person-centred practice. Alexsha is a vocal Anti Racism practitioner who has been pushing progress within her placement and University. Alexsha pushed herself outside of her comfort zone to her credit and has blossomed. She thoroughly deserves recognition for her hard work throughout the pandemic.

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June Onyekwelu

June is Head of Parentline at Children in Northern Ireland and was nominated by Pauline Leeson

June has been a social worker for 30 years working with children and young people who are looked after, older people with dementia and now with Parentline, the regional parenting support helpline providing advice, guidance and support to parents/carers.

June is an amazing Social Worker because she embodies everything that is good about our wonderful profession. She is kind, caring and full of empathy and totally dedicated to the rights of children and parents to be enabled to enjoy healthy and happy lives with nurturing relationships which are meaningful and purposeful.

She is also passionate about learning and the importance of Continuous Professional Development as a way of building capacity and quality into the staff team and the service.  June wears her expertise and experience lightly as a Social Work leader, as an educator and an innovator who inspires confidence and compassion in her team. She has championed inclusivity and diversity in her work with LGBTQ and Anti-Racist programmes/workshops and brings Trauma Informed Practice to life for staff through her role as a team leader and supervisor which has transformed how we work with parents/carers in Children in Northern Ireland.

June is always focussed on how we can support children and their families and how we can support staff to deliver a service which makes people’s lives better both on an individual level and as family members. Her professional background as a social worker has brought her skills and values together to make a huge positive impact on our organisation, Children in Northern Ireland and her staff team that has enriched our professional and personal lives and benefitted the lives of the parents/carers that we are privileged to work with. June is always #InYourCorner and we are proud to have such an amazing Social Worker leading Parentline and making such a lasting difference to the lives of parents/carers.

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