Surrey’s children’s social care workers were honoured today in an awards ceremony hosted by comedian Paul Sinha from popular ITV quiz show The Chase.
Fifteen coveted awards were up for grabs with categories including Children’s Social Worker of the Year, Most Outstanding Team, and the Dave Hill Lifetime Achievement Award, named in honour of the council’s executive director for children and families who passed away suddenly in June.
The inaugural awards, which were hosted virtually due to Covid restrictions, have been introduced to publicly celebrate the incredible work carried out on a daily basis across the county by children’s social care professionals.
Mary Lewis, Surrey’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, congratulated the winners and thanked all teams for their hard work during the unprecedented circumstances of this year.
“I know how hard our staff have been working and I want to thank them all on behalf of the children and young people in Surrey. Particular congratulations must go to the award winners, who have been selected due to their exceptional standard of work.
“This year has delivered extraordinary challenges, and our staff has risen to every single one of them to make sure children and families are supported and cared for. These awards have allowed us to showcase the remarkable talent that we have here in Surrey and to celebrate the tireless work of individuals and teams, and I am very proud of all that we have achieved.”
Marissa Langley was crowned Children’s Social Worker of the Year after receiving multiple nominations. Described as an outstanding practitioner, a colleague added that Marissa “has a skill to make children feel that they are not a case but a person”.
Sandra Wilson, a personal advisor within the care leavers’ service, was awarded the prestigious Dave Hill Lifetime Achievement Award. Described as “a champion of the young people’s voices”, Sandra was nominated by colleagues for going “above and beyond for a wide number of young people to ensure they are supported appropriately during really difficult times in their lives”.