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University graduate wins national Social Work Award

A graduate from the university won the Gold Award for Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year at the 2018 Social Work Awards. 

Rebecca Payne graduated from the university in 2017 with a Social Work degree and has since been working for Gloucestershire County Council supporting adults who have care and support needs. During her degree, she worked as a domiciliary care worker, volunteered as an advocate, and worked for a self-harm helpline. In her assessed year in employment, she undertook training in basic telecare assessments, and has used the knowledge gained to support colleagues, reduce waiting times and risk, and improve people’s quality of life.

This year’s awards were held at a ceremony the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London and was attended by almost 450 practitioners and high profile figures from the profession. Seventeen inspiring social workers, teams and organisations were honoured for their outstanding achievements and described as ‘ambassadors for the profession’ after they took home prizes at the national Social Worker of the Year Awards.
The judges praised Rebecca for her fantastic achievements, her ambition and the positive relationships she has clearly created with people she supports and their families.

Rebecca Payne, university Social Work graduate, said:

“I am so proud to be an adult social worker and I think being passionate is the most important thing. Over the Newly Qualified Social Work year I have learnt that being open and honest with people even when that means having a difficult conversation is essential. Always be clear about your role as a social worker so you can set realistic boundaries. Of course reflective practice is also a key part which really does help you safeguard vulnerable people.”

Gareth Benjamin, Mental Health Social Worker of the Year Award Winner 2017, said:

“Rebecca has clearly created positive relationships with her service users and their families and worked towards implementing care plans which are aligned to their wishes. Her ability to engage a person who felt ‘looked down upon’ by professionals into mandatory meetings regarding their children must have been difficult and it is inspiring to read that Rebecca achieved this.”

Vanessa Matthews, Practice Development Social Worker, said:

“Becky has demonstrated consistently that she understands the wider context and the deeper meaning behind her role. She is very reflective and is aware of the need for professional curiosity. I believe that she makes a real difference to the people she works and engages with.”

Each of the gold award winners will now be invited to attend an exclusive Parliamentary Reception which will be held at the Palace of Westminster in the spring. The reception will be their opportunity to celebrate their achievements with representatives from the Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Education.