Social work awards body appoints new board members

Five new members include Peter Hay, former director at Birmingham council, and Rob Mitchell, principal social worker at Bradford

(L-R) The Social Worker of the Year Awards charity Board of Trustees: Beverley Williams, Ruth Smith, Peter Hay, Jenni Randall, Joanna Nicolas and Ana Popovici. Not pictured: James Rook and Rob Mitchell

The former director of children’s and adults’ services at Birmingham council has been appointed as chair of the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Peter Hay, formerly strategic director of people at Birmingham, succeeds professor Ray Jones, who has held the position at the social work awards charity since 2013.

Hay said he was delighted to give his support to the awards, which celebrate the achievements of social workers and social work teams practising across England.

“For me this is not just about the lives of other people – social care has been part of my own life and four generations of my family, who have been supported with needs arising from mental illness, disability and now older age,” he said.

“I have always been clear about the potential that social work has to change lives and I am passionate about rewarding great social workers and building the standing of the profession.”

Hay will be joined by four new board members, including two previous winners of Social Worker of the Year awards, Rob Mitchell and Jenni Randall.

Mitchell was named Principal Social Worker of the Year in 2015. He qualified in 1998 and has worked across a range of adult social work settings. He is currently principal social worker at Bradford council and co-chair of the Adults’ Principal Social Worker Network.

Jenni Randall won the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 in recognition of her social work career, which has spanned almost five decades across councils in Essex, London, Norfolk and Northamptonshire. Since 2012, Jenni has been an independent social worker in Cornwall.

The other two new board members are Joanna Nicolas, a child protection consultant and trainer, and Ana Popovici, deputy director of children’s services at Hillingdon council.

The five new board members will join current trustees Beverley Williams, founder of the awards, James Rook, managing director at Sanctuary Social Care and Ruth Smith, publisher at Community Care.

Ray Jones, current chair of the social work awards charity, said: “Being involved in the awards over the past three years has been an absolute joy and pleasure and I cannot think of anyone better to hand the reigns over to than Peter. He is widely respected in the social work community as someone with great integrity and commitment.

“All of our new trustees are excellent role models within the profession and I have no doubt that together they will achieve great success.”

The entry deadline for the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2017 is 5pm on Friday 21 July. For more information and to download an entry form, visit the website.

Community Care is the official media sponsor of the awards. 

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