Ipswich: Recruitment specialist Sanctuary backs Social Worker of the Year Awards

James Rook of Sanctuary Personnel.

James Rook of Sanctuary Personnel. - Credit: Matt Grayson & Felicity Crawshaw

More than 300 social workers took part in an event in London celebrating their role.

The headline sponsor and organisation of the annual Social Worker of the Year Awards at the Lancaster London hotel was Ipswich-based Sanctuary Social Care.

James Rook, managing director of the specialist health and social care firm – part of EADT Future50 company Sanctuary Personnel – paid tribute to the thousands of hardworking, committed social workers throughout the country who are doing “an amazing job in difficult and challenging circumstances”.

“This is why we became involved in the Social Worker of the Year Awards, which is about recognising and showcasing positive practice,” he said.

Among the guests were Ipswich MP Ben Gummer and Sarah O’Toole. head of Sanctuary’s children’s services division, Skylakes.

The evening included a video message delivered from Care Services Minister Norman Lamb, Minister of State for Care and Support, who described the event as “the highlight of the social care calendar”, and Edward Timpson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, who described social work as “one of the most important jobs in the country”.

Keynote speakers included Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adult Services, Bridget Robb, Chief Executive of The British Association of Social Workers, and Annie Hudson, chief executive of The College of Social Work, who was the driving force behind the critically acclaimed BBC2 documentary series ‘Protecting our Children’ which aired last year.

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Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, who has recently been chosen by Education Secretary Michael Gove to be his parliamentary aide, was also amongst the guests.

The evening culminated with the announcement of the Overall Social Worker of the Year Award, presented by Sanctuary Social Care to Patricia Fifield from Warwickshire County Council. She was commended for her dedication and unwavering passion for the sector, having worked as a frontline social worker for over 40 years.

James said: “It was amazing to see the faces of the winners and seeing the difference it’s going to make to them, taking the news back to their workplaces and sharing their success with their colleagues. The passion, the energy, the drive that the industry has, and witnessing all of that during the ceremony – I feel honoured to have been a part of it.”