Social Work Student of the Year from Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway Council social workers celebrated outstanding success at the Scottish Association of Social Workers Awards in Edinburgh on Tuesday 19 March 2013. The awards were presented by Minister for Children and Young People, Aileen Campbell MSP.

Three out of 18 finalists at the event were social workers from Dumfries and Galloway.   Two of the three took the top two awards of Social Work Student of the Year 2012 and runner up.

Social Work Student of the Year – winner:  Clare Edmondson Social Work Student of the Year – highly commended:  Allyson Johnstone Practitioner of the Year – finalist: Frances Thielen Both Clare and Allyson are part of the Dumfries and Galloway ‘Grow your Own’ social work training programme in partnership with the Open University and were nominated in the Student of the year category for their work on their assessed placements last year.

Clare, who is now fully qualified, was placed with the Adult Care Team in Stranraer and her Practice Teacher was Martin Loughrey. Allyson is also studying with the OU and is in her final year. Allyson was at Kaleidoscope in Dumfries and Moira Harris was her Practice Teacher.

Frances Thielen was nominated in the Practitioner of the year category for her outstanding work with a vulnerable service user by Penny Nowell, Joint Planning and Commissioning Manager for Mental Health, and Liz Brown, Director of the Mental Health Association in Dumfries and Galloway.

Chair of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Social Work Committee, Councillor Andy Ferguson said, “Dumfries and Galloway is often commended for the quality of its front line work, but this is an exceptional result for our staff. Having three of the 18 finalists would be something to celebrate in itself, but this result must have made it a very special night.”

“Congratulations to all three of our finalists with a special mention for Clare Edmondson in receiving the top award.  I am proud that we can boast of having such skilled and committed staff and I am sure this quality of service is reflected across the whole region.”

Director of Social Work, John Alexander, said, “As our Council’s Chief Social Work Officer, I know that the foundation of good social work is competent and confident frontline practice. It is gratifying that our high standard of frontline practice has been recognised nationally. It is also a complement to our “Grow Your Own” approach to professional training in social work. I would like to congratulate all three colleagues who were shortlisted and in particular those who won awards.”


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