Trust wins at 2013 Regional Social Work Awards


Our Fostering Team Social Worker, Alwyn Higham celebrated on Friday after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year's Northern Ireland Social Work Awards. The NIASW Lifetime Achievement Award recognises those members who have worked consistently and steadfastly to improve social work services and/or practice.

Also winning an award was the North Belfast Community Learning Disability Team who received the Adult Services (Team Award). The social workers within this multi-disciplinary team have been leading a process to promote service user participation and partner- ship by the use of easy-read information.

More about Alywn Higham

Alywn Higham has been a practicing Social Worker since 1973 and has worked in the Fostering Service since 1979. In her career in fostering Alywn has consistently promoted best practice in the assessment, supervision, training and recruitment of foster carers.

Since the development of specialist teams within fostering in the Belfast Trust, Alwyn has made a huge contribution to support and development of foster carers. One Foster Carer, Maura Gelston said; “Alwyn always encourages us to keep ongoing when life is difficult and knows when to praise us for even very simple things”.

Social Workers like Alwyn are the very back bone of the service and its greatest resource. Alwyn has never had a day’s sick leave in all her years of service. Her quiet, committed professionalism can sometimes get overlooked and overshadowed but it is Social Workers like Alwyn who do make a difference and a very significant one in the lives of children and Foster Carers.

More about the Regional Social Work Awards

The Regional Social Work Awards which recognise the achievements of social workers across Northern Ireland, have been marked at an award ceremony at the Guildhall in Derry/Londonderry. The finalists came from all sectors across Northern Ireland providing services to all age groups across a range of settings.

Speaking at the event Dr James Nesbitt the University of Ulster Chancellor said “The University of Ulster is at the heart of the provision of quality education in social work and its highly professional team is committed to producing high quality graduates for the profession.

“Today we are all gathered in this City’s beautiful and historic Guildhall to recognize the work of a very special group of individuals and teams and their selfless dedication towards improving the quality of life, health and well-being of individuals and families, and in helping to build community infrastructure that promotes the development of a quality social environment”.