A social worker from Livewell Southwest who has dedicated more than 40 years of her life to the profession has been shortlisted for three prestigious awards in recognition of her outstanding work.
Teresa Barrett, who supports patients on two of Livewell rehabilitation wards has been shortlisted for the Making a Difference, Adult Social Worker of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards at the annual Social Worker of the Year awards.
Livewell Southwest is the social enterprise delivering health and adult social care in Plymouth with social workers working across different teams to support people including mental health, in safeguarding and on hospital wards.
As well as Teresa, social workers Katy Else, Hannah Creasy and the West Devon Community Health and Social Care team – an integrated team made up of staff from Livewell and Devon County Council, have also been selected as finalists for the annual Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Nominees will find out if they have won at a national awards ceremony which will take place in London in November.
The awards are organised by The Social Work Awards charity, which aims to improve public awareness and understanding of social work by showing the positive impact of social workers in the wide range of roles they undertake.
Teresa was nominated in all three categories by Andy Williams, Adult Social Care Operational Lead for Plymouth for her dedication inside and outside of work.
Andy said: “It’s gratifying to know that the national panel recognised not only the contribution to social care that Teresa makes on a daily basis, but also the amazing work she does in her own time in the community.
“A truly deserving candidate and regardless of the outcome, we are proud to have Teresa on the team.”
Teresa has worked as a social worker in Plymouth since 1981.
She has worked for Plymouth City Council and Livewell Southwest for more than 40 years in various roles but her social work values have always been embedded in all the roles she has undertaken.
Outside of work she runs a youth club and volunteers at a monthly soup run.
She said: “I was absolutely shocked to find out that I had been nominated and shortlisted for all three awards and I am very grateful to Andy Williams for his nominations.
“I love helping people and supporting them through promoting independence and dignity and building confidence so people can reach their goals. I really enjoy building up relationships and try to always have a positive outlook and make people smile.
“Being a social worker is all about putting the person at the centre of what we do and supporting them to meet their needs and that’s what I try to do every day.
“I’m lucky to work in a fantastic integrated team supporting patients on a daily basis to return home.
“I know that there are some amazing people out there doing work that deserve to be shouted about so I really am very humbled to have been shortlisted.”
Plymouth City Councillor Kate Taylor, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “I’m absolutely delighted see to that Teresa is being recognised on a national scale for all her hard work and dedication over the years. Our social workers make a difference to the lives of some of our most vulnerable residents, so it’s absolutely right they are honoured for their commitment.”
Katy is one of five finalists in the Championing Social Worker Values category, sponsored by Essex County Council and was nominated by Lawrence Badman, one of Livewell’s Practice Teachers for adult social care.
Katy said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been shortlisted for the ‘Championing Social Work Values’ category. Values and Ethics are the soul of social work and underpin everything we do.
“Within the profession we are challenged, daily, by ethics and holding onto our values and upholding the values of social work is vital in today’s world for good and positive practice. This is something I strive for every day so to have been shortlisted in this category means the world to me.”
Hannah who works in the safeguarding team was also nominated by Lawrence and is one of six finalists in the Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year category.
Hannah qualified as a social worker last year after working for 11 years as a community care worker.
She works with adults at risk of abuse or neglect and was praised in her nomination for her enormous resilience and strength to become a social worker.
She said: “I am thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award and grateful to have been nominated.
“I became a social worker because I wanted to be able to advocate for people and to make a positive difference to their lives.”
Kerry Dodd, Principal Social Worker at Livewell Southwest added: “Once again, Livewell Southwest is very proud that three of our social workers have been shortlisted for an award at the national Social Worker of the Year awards for the third year running and we are delighted for our colleagues in the West Devon team.
“I am delighted for Katy, Hannah and Teresa who has been shortlisted in three different categories which is a testament to her hard work.
“This year, I understand there were more entries than ever before and the judging panel had a very difficult task shortlisting each category.
“They all said it was a particularly tough decision as there has been some fantastic work over the past year and the standard of entries was so high nationally.
“The awards give recognition to the difficult and challenging work of qualified social workers, promote best practice in the profession and improve the understanding of the range of work which social workers undertake.
“The very best of luck to Teresa, Katy and Hannah.”
The Adult Social Care team in Tavistock, provided by Devon County Council, supports adults and older people with their physical and learning disability needs.
Integrated with Livewell’s team of nurses, therapists and health and social care co-ordinators, the team works in the community visiting people in their homes and on the ward at Tavistock Community Hospital.
The team was nominated by Louise Higgins, the West Devon Community Services Manager who said: “I am absolutely thrilled that the team has been shortlisted for team of the year at the Social Worker of the Year awards.
“Integration is key in working together to help get the best possible outcomes for the people we support and the West Devon team do a fantastic job of making this happen.
“The team are looking forward to attending the awards in November with Devon and Livewell colleagues, and I wish the team the very best of luck.”