A social worker from Hampshire Council has been voted Council Worker of the Year after preventing a young boy from committing suicide on a motorway bridge.
Paul Child, 37, who works with children in care, was one of three people nominated for a Bravery award after he talked the 13-year-old out of jumping off the bridge last December.
The boy, who had been in residential care for several years, had wanted to be reunited with his mother. Child convinced him he would do everything in his power to help. Although he was unable to reunite the boy with his mother he did succeed in placing him with another family member in an official fostering placement.
Child, who was once held at gunpoint for three hours by a service user, was praised by Hampshire Council chief Ken Thornber, who said the social worker was a “true ambassador for his profession.”
“He’s everything a good social worker should be – dedicated, professional and approachable. He has a great rapport with children in his care and always puts their needs first. We are so proud to have the Council Worker of the Year as a valued member of our team,” said Thornber.