A SOCIAL worker described as a ‘truly inspirational role model’ has won a prestigious award for her voluntary work.
Kelly Hicks, an independent social worker from Doncaster, scooped the title of Adult Social Worker of the Year at the glitzy Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Kelly has worked on a voluntary basis for the last year with a group of adults with mental health problems.
She has given hours of time and support to enable them to become active within the community and to improve their own wellbeing. The group now has over 40 members and meets every week.
Kelly, who has worked with SMART - Social Work Practice and Personalisation Plus Ltd - also led the group to receive the Great British Care Awards in the category of Putting People First.
This achievement was the first time that a patients group has received such an honour.
Ruth Smith, head of content at category sponsors communitycare.co.uk praised Kelly.
She added: “Kelly really has inspired and empowered this group to build a brighter future for themselves and to improve the services available to everyone with mental health difficulties.
“The judges were particularly impressed with the way that Kelly has earned the group’s trust and respect and has so positively impacted on their lives and changed their perception of social workers.
“Kelly is an inspirational role model.”
Kelly’s commitment has resulted in a reduction of need for statutory involvement amongst members, many of who receive preventative support before situations escalate to crisis.
The ceremony at the House of Lords was attended by over 170 social workers and representatives from the profession.
James Rook, managing director of main sponsor and awards organisers Sanctuary Social Care, added: “It just goes to show how much outstanding social work goes on, largely unrecognised, all over the country.
“It is wonderful to give these hard working professionals the thanks and recognition they deserve.”