A social worker from Doncaster who works for the South West Yorkshire NHS Partnership Foundation Trust has been described as an “inspiration to the social work profession” and received national recognition for her support of vulnerable young people after winning two top prizes at the prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Helen Pye was crowned the Overall Social Worker of the Year, sponsored by Sanctuary Social Care, after being named the Mental Health Social Worker of the Year, (supported by Hampshire County Council) at the national event earlier on in the evening. The awards ceremony took place recently in London.
Helen is a member of the Focus Team for the Trust, which provides forensic child and adolescent mental health services. She was recognised for the profound difference she has had on the lives of the young people she works with and the contribution she has made to her team and wider practice in the region was also described as “unique and crucial.”
The Trustees of the Social Work Awards Ltd., the charity behind the awards, selected Helen as the Overall Social Worker of the Year after she was the only winner to receive ‘top marks’ from the category judges and the Board praised the positive impact she has had on the lives of the many young people in her region.
Speaking just after she collected her awards, Helen said: “I’m gobsmacked to have won these awards. It’s a brilliant achievement, especially as I work in an NHS trust within a health team, to be recognised by the social work profession is great. Winning the award for Mental Health Social Worker was fantastic, but to with the Overall Social Worker of the Year too – I’m absolutely amazed and feel on top of the world!”
Helen was presented with the Overall Social Worker of the Year Award by Beverley Williams, Founder of the Social Work Awards and James Rook, Managing Director of the awards’ headline sponsors, Sanctuary Social Care. James said: “Helen had everything we were looking for in the winner of the Overall Social Worker of the Year award. She has positively transformed services in the local area, at the same time as delivering excellent social work and making a huge difference to the lives of the young people she supports. She is a truly deserving winner and is an asset to her organisation.”
Graham Allen, Interim Director of Adult Services at Hampshire County Council, presented Helen with her Mental Health Social Worker of the Year Award earlier in the evening. He added: “Helen has proved time and time again the true value of social work and the difference it can make to the lives of children and young people. As well as helping to change the lives and fortunes of the people she supports, she has also helped to transform services at a strategic level. She is an outstanding winner.”
Helen was presented with her awards in front of an audience of 370 social workers and representatives of the profession. The Social Worker of the Year Awards were founded in 2006 by independent practitioner, Beverley Williams, with the aim of improving the understanding and reputation of the profession.
This year the awards have been supported by headline sponsors Sanctuary Social Care; Corporate Partners, the British Association of Social Workers; and category supporters the NSPCC, Core Assets, iMPOWER, the Local Government Association, UNISON, Barnardo’s, Kent County Council, ECL: The Care & Wellbeing Company, Hampshire County Council and Devon County Council.
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