Trust staff scoop top Social Work awards at ceremony in Belfast City Hall


Belfast Trust Social Workers were among the winners at the second Regional Social Work Awards to be held in Northern Ireland.  There were 72 entries for awards in six categories, with four team awards and two individual awards. The finalists came from all sectors across Northern Ireland providing services to all age groups across a range of settings.

Award Winners

The Children’s Services Team Award went to The Regional HIV Social Work Team, based at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The Team was developed over 20 years ago and works discreetly with men, women and children in Northern Ireland infected and affected by HIV disease, offering emotional and practical support to enable people to live with HIV and challenge the ‘stigma’, discrimination, and resultant isolation that makes HIV/AIDS different to other chronic, life limiting health condition.

The Individual Award was won by Harry Murphy, Day Centre Manager at Beech Hall Day Centre. Harry Murphy is responsible for the overall delivery of day support services to 35 disabled service users on a daily basis, some of whom has been attending for up to 20 years. He has demonstrated over his last thirty two years a commitment and concern to disabled adults generally, and their individual care plans collectively.

The awards were presented at a celebratory lunch and ceremony at Belfast City Hall which marked the achievements of social workers across Northern Ireland.

Speaking at the event the Health Minister Edwin Poots said ‘Social Workers help many vulnerable people in our society to live safer lives. They need our support and they deserve our appreciation. I welcome the opportunity to be here today to mark the positive difference they make in our society’.

Other finalists

Ken Coyles was a finalist in the Individual Award. Ken is a Social Worker in the Sensory Support Team, and facilitates a service user group (Looking Ahead) who have acquired sight impairment associated with brain injury. His ‘person centred approach’ enables members to develop their own activity programme to meet their identified needs. The group recently wrote, produced and recorded a song about: ‘Their Disability’ entitled ‘Looking Ahead’.

Also at the event Margaret Brown, who was a social worker in Oncology at the Trust received a posthumous award.