Social workers feature on honours list

Queen's birthday honours list includes recognition of contribution to sector from range of professionals and experts by experience

Queen Elizabeth
Picture credit: Rex Features

A range of social care professionals and people with experience of using services are recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list for their contributions to the sector.

The list includes OBEs for Brian Walsh, Coventry City Council’s director of community services and the honorary treasury for the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, and Sharon Allen, the chief executive of Skills for Care and a qualified social worker with more than 30 years of experience of working in housing and social care.

Walsh, who began his career in 1982 as a trainee social worker in Derbyshire, said he was “enormously thrilled and humbled” by the news.

“Working in social care is massively rewarding and I feel very privileged to have spent my working life in the sector, working with many amazing and dedicated people,” he told the Coventry Telegraph.

“But it’s not an area that gets much of a national profile, so I’m very proud to have been singled out for this honour and feel it’s really a tribute to all the people who I’ve had the pleasure to work with during my career.”

Allen, who started her career as a social work assistant in Derby, said the honour was testament to the work of “leaders, managers and staff” delivering person-centred care across the country with the support or organisations like Skills for Care.

“At a time of real pressure in adult social care, and in public services generally, the quality, commitment, skills and compassion of our workforce, especially its leadership, has never been more important,” she said.

MBEs are awarded to Joan Jackson-Callen, a social worker at Kensington and Chelsea council, and Yasvanti Sha, Kent County Council’s head of adoption and improvement, in recognition of their services to children and families. Philomena Hughes, assistant director for mental health and older people services at Northern Health and Social Care Trust, is made MBE for her services to older people in Northern Ireland.

Emily Holzhausen, director of policy and public affairs at Carers UK, is made an OBE for her services to carers. William Walden-Jones, the former chief executive of Welsh mental health charity Hafal, is also made an OBE for his services to people with mental illness and their families. Shaun Webster, a project worker at the disabled people’s human rights organisation Change, is made MBE for his service to people with learning disabilities.

Norman Goodwin, chief executive of Adoption Matters Northwest, receives a CBE for his services to social work and adoption. Alzheimer’s Society chief executive Jeremy Hughes is made a CBE for services to older people.

Elizabeth Benson, an expert by experience at Mersey Care NHS trust, is made an OBE for her services to mental health. Broadcaster Nicky Campbell also receives an OBE for his services to children. Campbell is a patron of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering and has written about his personal experience of adoption. Julie Elliot, an adopter in Lancashire, also receives an OBE for her services to adoption.

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