SASW Awards 2016

We are looking for our SASW MHO of the Year- a mental health officer who has been a credit to his/ her profession, who has managed to work in partnership with and for people who use and need the services and helped improve their wellbeing, who has inspired others and led by example.

Against a background of increasing demand, in a context of integrated working, less resources, and so ever more challenges on the MHO workforce we want to draw attention to and celebrate the essential role MHOs play. MHOs balance protection with recovery, and must be consistently mindful of people’s human rights and how treatment and support ensure their needs are being respected. Combining clinical practice and assessment with compassion and the right to self-determination can be a significant challenge. Do you know someone who has that dedication, commitment, and who connects with people who use services as well as with other colleagues and professionals?

If so, nominate them for The Wilma MacDonald Award for SASW MHO of the Year 2017.

Nomination forms can be downloaded below:

SASW Awards Nomination Form (PDF)Download as PDFGet Adobe Reader

SASW Awards Nomination Form (Word)Download as Microsoft Word document

Closing Date for Nominations: Friday, 15 September 2017

The Award

The Award winner will receive a Trophy and a prize of £250 to enjoy a well earned day out.

When will the Award be presented?

The Wilma MacDonald Award will be presented at the SASW MHO Forum Annual Study Conference on 4 October 2017 at the Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh.

Do I tell the MHO they are being nominated?

Yes – as this Award will be presented at the MHO Forum Annual Study Conference the nominee needs to be present.

Who can nominate?

Each nominee requires two nominations:

  1. From the person who is nominating, this could be a fellow MHO, a line manager, a member of another organisation who wants to highlight this person’s contribution to excellent mental health social work practice.
  2. From a Nominating Other, this could be a work colleague, the person using services, head of department, partner organisation.  How has the work for and with the person(s) made a difference or an improvement?

Please include all contact details in case we require further information.

Judging panel

The judging panel will comprise of the Convener of our Scotland Committee, the Chair of the SASW MHO Forum and Trisha Hall, Manager of SASW, the professional association for social workers in Scotland.

Why Wilma MacDonald?

In 2012, SASW as the professional association, introduced the SASW MHO of the Year in honour of  Wilma, her life and her achievements.
The title of the award is a tribute to the work of Wilma Macdonald, who qualified as an MHO in 1992 and went on to spend all of her career serving the people of Glasgow’s East End. In particular, her work among older people with mental health issues led to her becoming a much respected MHO in the area.

Wilma died on 7 May 2010 and SASW decided to mark her life and recognise her achievements by creating the Wilma Macdonald MHO of the Year Award.

Who was Wilma MacDonald?

Wilma qualified as a Social Worker in 1992 and started work in East Glasgow Social Work Services.  By 1995 she was working as an MHO and her work, particularly with older people, gained wide recognition with health and social work colleagues.  But above all with the people with whom she worked, often troubled by issues that prevented them feeling included in the society around them.  Not only did Wilma practice in a most caring and professional manner but she was able to pass on her skills and knowledge to others through teaching and mentoring.

One of Wilma’s colleagues described her dedication and commitment:  “Always patient and considerate in her approach, Wilma made sure service users and carers felt supported and listened to.  Wilma’s caring nature coupled with her enthusiasm for supporting others meant that there were times she would exceed her line manager’s expectations of her work, stepping into the void when there were no available services or carers to assist the vulnerable.”
In 2009 Wilma became unwell.  Sadly she died on 7 May 2010 and her colleagues would like her contribution to the development of professional practice to be recognised.  Wilma’s lasting legacy for those privileged enough to meet her was the unrelenting need to value and respect each and every individual whatever their circumstances.

Quote from previous award winner:

I was absolutely delighted to receive the Wilma MacDonald Award for SASW MHO of the Year – I have always been passionate about mental health work and to receive this recognition made the (at times) slog of ever increasing workload and decreasing resources worthwhile – I still have the cards I received and when everything seems too much the memory still brings a smile to my face!