Award for Portsmouth City Council social worker honoured for being best student of the year

A NEWLY-QUALIFIED Portsmouth City Council social worker has won a national award for her work supporting children with disabilities.

By Josh Wright
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 12:30 pm
Sarah Daly, Lucy Collier, Cllr Suzy Horton, Liam Mills and Clare Poyner

Lucy Collier, who originally trained as a teacher, has been named student social worker of the year at the Social Worker of the Year Awards for developing a training package that helps social workers support children and their parents.

'I've always wanted to help children and families fulfil their potential and remove barriers for people with disabilities,' she said after receiving the prize.

Her work has involved increasing the amount of information available on respite care for the parents of these children.

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Two more council social workers, Liam Mills and Amanda Haylock were shortlisted for children's social worker of the year and team leader of the year respectively at the event last month.

Councillor Suzy Horton, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for Children, praised the work of social workers, particularly during the pandemic.

'I would like to congratulate Lucy for her immense efforts to support children and young people in the city who have additional needs,' she said. 'For someone who has only recently qualified, Lucy has shown professionalism and resilience, going above and beyond to support local families.

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'I'm really proud of our workforce in children's social care who have maintained face-to-face contact with local residents throughout the pandemic when restrictions allowed.'

Liam Mills was shortlisted for creating picture books to help aid children 'whose families were impacted by complex issues.'

He said the nomination was 'a massive boost'.

'This was a true team effort though,' he said. 'I would like to thank my line manager for supporting me over the last 18 months, through mentoring and training.

Amanda Haylock for co-ordinating the council's family safeguarding team which focuses on the effects of mental health, substance misuse and domestic abuse.

Interim director for children and families at the council, Sally Hodges, hailed the efforts of the department.

She said: 'Social workers are key people in providing support when families need it most. Liam, Lucy and Amanda are a real testament to the service.

'We are immensely proud of them and our entire workforce who go above and beyond every day to help our local community.'

The awards were hosted virtually from the ceremony in London by the Social Worker of the Year Awards charity.

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