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Recognition of social work in New Years Honours list 2022

The honours mark achievements and service

BASW welcomes the recognition of outstanding social care and social work in the 2022 New Years Honours list, and would like to congratulate all those who have represented social work.

Special congratulations to BASW member Laurence McBreen who has been awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the social work sector in South Wales.

Numerous social workers were recognised in this year’s New Year Honours for their services to public service and social work.  Foster carers, social care staff, voluntary sector that work with children were also honoured. 

These include:

Jennifer Coles.  Director of Children's Services, Hertfordshire County Council. For services to Children's Social Care - Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Simon Darby.  Social Worker, Young Lives vs Cancer. For services to Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer in Northern Ireland - Member of the Order of the British Empire

Kiran Flynn.  Social Worker, Frontline. For services to Children and Families during Covid-19 - Medal of the Order of the British Empire

Albert Heaney.  Chief Social Care Officer for Wales. For services to Social Care - Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Bridget Mongan.  Director, Adult Services and Prison Healthcare, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. For services to Prison Health Care and Social Work in Northern Ireland - Officer of the Order of the British Empire

Eddie O'Hara.  Lately Chair, All Birmingham's Children (ABC) charity for services to Children and Families, awarded a Medal of the Order of the British Empire.

Speaking of his award Laurence McBreen, also known as Zac, said:   

"I'm very pleased with having been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List - and would like to add that I know of many dedicated, hardworking and able social workers who could and should be similarly honoured.

“Traditionally, social work does not feature in the Honours List as much as it should, given the nature of this public service."

Zac was a social worker from 1972 until 2011 working initially in a generic team and then from 1977 until 1990 in a mental health setting. From 1990 until 2011 he was a member of Cardiff and the Vale Emergency Duty Team and at the same time responsible for student placements initially in South Glamorgan and then from 1997 as Professional Development Officer in the Vale of Glamorgan until 2018.

During the forty six years of his career he has positively promoted the social work profession and inspired many social workers of the future. He has been practice teacher/assessor for more than 500 students and continues to this day, since retiring from his statutory post in 2018, to maintain his interest and commitment to the development of practice informed by theory and research as well as his clear commitment to social work values.

Eddie O'Hara was recognised for almost 40 years working with children and families and championing young people. More recently he has focused on activism through his charity and encouraging the leaders of Birmingham to make the city a more child friendly place.

He said: "It's really nice to see work with children and families recognised as being important. There are thousands of people who deserve such recognition. If this award helps elevate the value of being kind and caring to other people that is a positive."

Congratulations to everyone who has been honoured this year for your amazing work.