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And the winners were...

BASW Cymru’s third annual Social Work awards took place in the grand surroundings of the Welsh National Assembly’s Senedd building this week.

Attended by more than 250 people including social workers, their family and friends and Welsh Assembly members, the event provided an opportunity to pay tribute to the best in the profession.

Below are the winners and the Certificate of Achievement recipients in each of the four categories within the awards.

The Practice Teaching Award
Awarded to a social worker or practice teacher/assessor who has made an invaluable contribution to the education and development of practice teachers in Wales.

Certificate of Achievement
Diane Lucas, Denbighshire
Bob Quayle, Carmarthenshire
Rita Roberts, Wrexham

Winner
Gwen Prysor, Denbighshire.

Gwen is an experienced social worker who now works as a tutor and uses this experience to train other practitioners become practice teachers in North Wales. He is an avid champion of the Welsh language and campaigns for service users to be able to access services in Welsh if they choose to.

The Innovative Social Work Award
Awarded to a social worker who has used innovative ideas to pioneer projects for the benefit of service users, carers and families.

Certificate of Achievement
Melanie Jones, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Claire Page, Swansea
Kate Thomas, Vale of Glamorgan
Sue Power, Vale of Glamorgan

Winner
Marj Hawkins and Louise England, West Wales

Both experienced practitioners within adoption services, Marj and Louise were recognised for their “theraplay” project helping adoptive families in West Wales form attachments using play as therapy.

The Spirit of Social Work Award
Awarded to a social worker who has used innovative ideas to pioneer projects for the benefit of service users, carers and families.

Certificate of Achievement
Ken Pimlett, Denbighshire
Jason Howells, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Alison Reeve, Wrexham
Sarah Thomas Britton, Blaenau Gwent
Susan Wheatley, Carmarthenshire

Winner
Stephen Taylor, Rhondda Cynon Taf

Starting off in the voluntary sector before becoming a social worker, Stephen has worked extensively with adults entering the care system, ensuring they have a smooth transition by focusing on ‘life journey’ work. 

Lifetime Achievement Awards
Awarded to a social worker who has shown outstanding commitment to social work in Wales over a number of years.

Gordon Jones
A former bus driver, Gordon worked in a variety of roles across South Wales, before retiring as Head of Adult Services in Bridgend a few years ago. He was the first Welsh person to become UK chair of BASW and is highly regarded by former colleagues for his inclusive management style, passion for the job, honesty, kindness and encouragement.

Dr Catherine Poulter
Catherine’s long and distinguished career spans social work and management roles in local authorities across South and West Wales. She has also been heavily involved in charity work in Africa and completed a PhD at Cardiff University.

Known as a quiet, but shrewd person, her knowledge, wisdom and experience of social work is widely recognised by fellow professionals.

Sheila Hughes
Regarded as a “champion for social work” by colleagues, Shelia has made a huge contribution to ensuring the cultural needs of the Welsh population are taken into account by the the social work profession.

In a career spanning 29 years, she has worked with adults facing mental health issues and as a senior practitionerhelped other social workers develop their professional skills.