Lily praises, not savages, social care

Outstanding achievements in the social care profession were
celebrated at the annual Community Care awards held at the
London Hilton hotel in Park Lane, last week.

Around 500 social care professionals came together at the
ceremony to recognise and congratulate the projects that met the
judges’ criteria of innovation, genuine benefit to users,
outstanding practice and user involvement.

Guest awards host was Paul O’Grady – also known as Lily
Savage – who previously worked in a children’s home in Kirby,
Liverpool, and as a social worker in Camden, north London. He
praised the winners and the runners-up for their “genuine
enthusiasm” for their work.

“This is the work that we don’t read about often enough in
the newspapers, or see often enough on TV, which goes on day in day
out, transforming the lives of our most vulnerable citizens and
making society a better place for all of us to live in,” he

O’Grady said there was a record number of entries to the
awards, making it a higher overall standard than ever before.

The judges included Barnardo’s chief executive Roger
Singleton, director of Leicester social services department Andrew
Cozens, head of knowledge services at the Social Care Institute for
Excellence Amanda Edwards, Professor Joan Orme from Glasgow
University’s department of social policy and social work, and
Community Care editor Polly Neate.

“Social care is moving into new territory. New partnerships are
evolving and new relationships are being forged, and that
isn’t easy,” said Neate as she welcomed the guests to the

“Social services departments as we know them are disappearing –
or rather mutating into new structures for both adults’ and
children’s services. The landscape is changing and it feels
as though we don’t have a map yet. But we do have a compass.
And that is absolutely clear when you look at the winning and
short-listed projects who are represented here today.”

Neate said the commitment of social care professionals to the
values of their profession and to delivering excellent services in
partnership with service users would “ensure that the new
structures really do improve services, and keep social care’s
distinctive contribution at their centre”.

Each category winner received a prize of £5,000 while the
overall winner received an additional £8,000.

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