Guest Blog - Alison Bavidge, National Director at Scottish Association for Social Work (SASW)

Guest Blog from Alison Bavidge, National Director at Scottish Association for Social Work (SASW)

There is so much extraordinary work happening across the social services sector every day.  Countless individuals, teams and initiatives making a positive difference to people’s lives during an especially challenging and uncertain time.

The Scottish Social Services Awards is our opportunity to spotlight these stories, to recognise the outstanding contributions by those working in the sector and celebrate their many achievements.

It also allows us to take stock and reflect on the important roles our professions have in supporting and protecting individuals and families, indeed all of us, who face hard times. It is uplifting to consider the breadth and depth of work that goes on across the sector in often difficult circumstances to help and care for those most in need. It also enables us to contemplate our world without this lifesaving and life-enhancing sector.

SASW is proud to once again be working in partnership with the Scottish Government to bring you the Social Worker of the Year Award. This accolade celebrates the relational and rights-based work of social workers over the last year and highlights examples of creative and compassionate practice that brought positive outcomes for people who need services.

The Bright Spark Award for Social Work pays tribute to the contributions of students and newly qualified social workers who have already made a tremendous impact within their communities and are inspiring those around them.

This is the third year that SASW has supported both categories, and the awards more widely, and we are delighted to help to showcase the work of social workers from all specialisms and parts of the country.

To do this successfully, we need you to share positive stories and experiences by nominating your colleagues! As a profession, social workers often decry the press we get and worry about the effect of this on our professional reputation and our relationships with people who need services. Yet we shy away from recognising and celebrating great work because we worry that individual awards misrepresent the team effort that goes into the successful work we do. I used to feel this discomfort too!  However, now I recognise the need to hold up individual practice to the light, to encourage all of us to recognised how we contributed to that work and the share our celebration of this across the profession.

It only takes a few minutes to nominate someone. Not only they, but their colleagues and the people they work for will feel appreciated and valued. Applications are open until 6pm on 27 June and the form is available here: Entry Form for The Scottish Socials Services Awards (sssa.scot)

Finally, I’d like to take the opportunity to say a massive thank you for everything you’re doing. We can’t ignore the fact that social services continue to be under immense pressure, made even more complex and challenging on the back of the pandemic and in the grip of the conflict in Ukraine and cost of living crisis. In these extraordinary times, I can’t express enough my thanks for your dedication and hard work.

I look forward to seeing you at the ceremony on 15 September for what promises to be another inspiring and memorable evening.

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