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Social Workers honoured for "exceptional work and dedication" during the Covid-19 pandemic at national awards ceremony

***for immediate release***

A social worker and a social work student have been honoured for their dedication, commitment, and inspiring work during Covid-19 at a national awards ceremony.

The Scottish Social Services Awards, hosted by the Scottish Government and supported by the Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) and Social Work Scotland were held on the 25th October at Crieff Hydro. The awards shone a spotlight on the “fantastic work” of those in social services, who continued to support and protect people despite the challenging and unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic.

Grant Watson, a Social Worker working with adults in East Renfrewshire was named as SASW Social Worker of the Year. His nominator said: “Grant has a great personality, he is warm, caring, funny and very kind. He is a great listener and uses all these skills when working with service users, building a trusting rapport with each individual. He is also highly reliable within the team and has undoubtedly contributed to the positive team morale throughout the pandemic. Grant has achieved so much for the people he has worked with during the last 16 months in East Renfrewshire. The positive interventions and outcomes he has achieved for service users, carers and families and the feedback he has received has been unprecedented.” 

On winning the award, Grant said: "My win reflects the similar hard work and determination of all my social work colleagues alongside me to make a difference for those without a voice and people who are marginalised in society to effect a positive change in their lives. It's a privilege to work with individuals and families and to be invited into their homes and journeys and its a constant learning experience." 

Isabella Mawdsley, a final year student at Glasgow Caledonian University was awarded student Social Worker of the year. She was described as “an excellent student who built meaningful relationships with service users and colleagues. Izzy worked with enthusiasm and quiet confidence, she dealt with a complex case load and worked hard to understand the service users lives and how to help. Feedback from those she supported were that they felt empowered and included by Izzy and were impressed she worked swiftly and with no fuss. Izzy was kind, compassionate and caring and is a shining example of a Scottish student social worker in the 21st century.”

On her win, Isabella said: "I'm really proud of myself that I've won the award! It was a big surprise and really did not expect it. Just want to say a big thank you to my practice teachers, placement colleagues and the service users, as I've learnt so much from all of them." 

On the awards ceremony and the winners, National Director of the Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW), Alison Bavidge, said: “The Scottish Social Services Awards are such a positive experience to be involved with. The stories we’ve heard show the energy, innovation, and compassion across the sector. We’ve had entries from individuals and teams who not only do fantastic work on a day-to-day basis, but who have gone above and beyond during the pandemic. Our winners don’t expect praise for their work, but the comments from the people who have benefitted from their work show what an impact they have had”.

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Notes to Editors: 

- The Scottish Social Services Awards are an annual awards ceremony led by the Scottish Government and supported by Social Work Scotland and the Scottish Association of Social Work. More can be found, here:

- The Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) is part of BASW UK, the largest professional membership organisation for social workers in Scotland. more can be found, here:

- Social Work Scotland is the professional leadership body for the social work and social care professions. More can be found, here:

- For more information contact Emily Galloway on, 07592641642