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Glasvegas Rock Scottish Social Work Awards Ceremony

Platinum, indie rock band cousins, James and Rab Allan from the Glaswegian act Glasvegas put in a surprise performance last night at the Scottish Association of Social Work’s (SASW) annual awards ceremony.

The world famous artists played an acoustic set of four songs including ‘Geraldine’, the song written in praise of the social work profession. Guests applauded the performance and SASW Manager Trisha Hall stated: “I was blown away by their willingness to come and play for us, and give social work in Scotland, and the people nominated for the awards this kind of fantastic support and exposure. I simply can’t thank them enough for responding in this way and performing for us. It has meant a great deal to us, and ensured an absolutely unforgettable evening.”

The idea to approach the band came about when a previous attraction booked for the event fell through. Trisha Hall described the circumstances, “SASW feared we would not be able to find an act to follow in the footsteps of last year’s successful event with a flash mob choir (Edinburgh’s Sing in the City) and the wonderful Jo MacFarlane, poet. Then one mad evening I fired off an email to the ‘contact us’ address on the Glasvegas website – asking for a massive favour – not for one minute thinking they would reply!

“When the response came and suggested James, the singer and Rab, lead guitarist would consider coming along I couldn’t believe it. The effect was such that the SASW administrator suggested it might be best if I went home to recover!

“I speak on behalf of SASW and Scottish social workers when I say how absolutely delighted and touched we are that these artists, their manager and sound professional would give their time and energy to support our profession in this way.”

The awards were held at the newly refurbished ballroom within the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh. Supported by Scottish Government, the event marked Scotland’s celebration of World Social Work Day.

The exciting programme provided both entertainment and food for thought.

Isabel McCue, founder of Glasgow’s Theatre Nemo shared the invaluable work the company does in giving a voice to social issues, especially mental health. The group actively encourage people with mental health problems and carers to take part in drama and other performance arts.

Musician, Karen Dietz sang three songs and got the audience of well over a hundred guests going.

The awards this year for Lecturer, Practice Teacher and Social Worker of the Year were awarded respectively by Raymond Taylor, Senior Lecturer at University of Strathclyde and longstanding BASW member, Moira Dunworth of the Scottish Organisation of Practice Teachers, and Alan Baird, Chief Social Work Adviser to the Scottish Government.

The winners were announced to great applause and acknowledged as worthy ambassadors of the social work profession.

Social Work Lecturer of the Year 2014:
Alyson Leslie, University of Dundee

Practice Teacher of the Year:
Winner: Moira Harris, Social Worker/Practice Teacher, Dumfries and Galloway
Highly Commended: Sheila Cooper, Circle Project, Edinburgh

Social Worker of the Year (joint winners):
Kendal Power, Social Worker Glen Isla Project, Criminal Justice, Angus Council
Brenda Skeffington, Social Worker Youth Justice Services, South Lanarkshire Council

Ms Fiona McLeod MSP, Minister for Children and Young People handed out the trophies and addressed the audience.

SASW Convener Alistair Brown then summed up with a vote of thanks.

For one night only SASW Manager Trisha Hall turned into a compere, with all the glamour and activity that accompany this kind of event in the world of entertainment. She is however clear that her calling for social work is the correct one, as this was far too stressful!