As some of you may know I spent a bit of time in foster care as a child. From birth to to 18 months and then later on as a young child. Social workers were a consistent in my life right up until around 16 years old. So I was honoured to be asked to be the host and to become a Patron of the Social Worker of the Year Awards.
The only time we normally hear about Social Workers in the media is when bad things happen. Very little air time is given to the tireless work they do on a daily basis often in tricky conditions and with limited resources. There is no off button when you are a social worker. Whether you are getting a phone call late into the night about a child whose parent has overdosed and cannot look after their baby, or the young girl who has run away from an abusive home where no one else will believe or listen to what is going on behind closed doors; Or the young child who has been moved several times to different families and needs some form of consistency in her life, Or perhaps the elderly person who does not want to leave their home but is now not safe to live alone as the dementia becomes worse causing them to become a hazard unto themselves.
I arrived quite early so I could get my bearings and familiarise myself with the mic and lectern.
And my placement was next to Lyn Romeo The Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health.
The food was served and then we got down to business, honouring the incredible people in the field of social work who do so much for our society. The awards started with a little speech from me, its a couple of minutes long and you can watch it above. I love public speaking and hosting but I always get that healthy dose of nerves when I am on stage.
Tim Loughton MP did a wonderful speech and he called Social Workers ‘the fourth emergency service’. Brilliant.
James Rook one of the trustees of the Social Worker of the Year helped me give out awards to the inspiring people throughout the night.
Categories such as mental health social worker of the year, children’s social worker of the year, Newly qualified social worker of the year and a whole plethora of other awards were handed out. People came from all across the country for the evening.
The overall Social Worker of the Year award (adults) Went to Vidhya Biju seen here with James Rook and Beverley Williams MBE. Beverley founded the awards in 2006. The evening went incredibly well with lots of laughter, happy tears and joy. The evening is a good reminder to us all to remember the unsung heroes that we don’t hear much positivity about, but who do so much to keep society together when the secure glue of daily life becomes unstuck. Some people do not have the family, the money or the resources to keep things together the way so many of us can when life hits us with a curveball or when we are struggling to cope. To Social Workers, I thank you and congratulations to you all whether you won a gong or not.
Big love and thank you so much for having me as part of your charity.
Ps: If you spot any typos/errors please do let me know and I will correct them x