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Contribution of social work and social care recognised in King's New Year Honours

The New Year Honour List has been revealed, recognising the contribution of social work and social care professionals among others.

05/01/23

Contribution of social work and social care recognised in King's New Year Honours

Social work leaders, care leaders and voluntary sector workers have all been recognised in this year’s New Year Honours for their services.

Children’s services leaders receiving awards include Jacqui Old, Lancashire County Council's Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services; and Victoria Schofield, Service Director, Children's Social Care, Wakefield Metropolitan Borough Council.

Jacqui, who joined Lancashire County Council earlier this year, receives a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) award – the highest-ranking Order of the British Empire – for services to the community in North Tyneside.

Under Jacqui's lead, North Tyneside Council was commended by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) earlier this year for their united approach to improving the lives of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The authority's Children's Services were rated as outstanding in 2020 and last year the Youth Justice Service was also rated as outstanding. Ofsted praised the relentless commitment of her leadership.

“Whilst I feel honoured to receive this award and incredibly proud of the reasons behind it, I must pay tribute to the team I worked with in North Tyneside to achieve such results. One person is nothing without a team,” Jacqui said.

"I feel very humbled by this. It's a real privilege to do what I do what I do and see the difference you can make to children's lives and ambitions. The team I work with can have such a life changing impact on children and families. My job is to keep focused on improving outcomes and creating better opportunities for children and young people.”

Children’s services leader Victoria Schofield was also recognised, being awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to children and young people. The award was received in part for her work in lifting the authority’s children’s services from its ‘Inadequate’ Ofsted rating to ‘Good’ in just three years.

“This is definitely a special moment and I am very grateful to have been recognised,” Vicky said.

“I consider myself very lucky to have a job that can make such a positive difference to the lives of children, young people and their families, which in itself is a great reward.

"I am very proud to be part of a great team of practitioners, colleagues and partners here in Wakefield, and in my previous roles, which enables us to achieve the best outcomes for the children we support.”

In services for adults, Jan Thurgood, Corporate Director for Adult Social Care at Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council was recognised with an MBE for services to People with Learning Disabilities.

Chief Executive of the National Care Association, Nadra Ahmed, also received an award for services to Social Care.

Commenting on the news, the National Care Association said it was “very proud” to congratulate Nadra on the recognition for all the work she does for social care.

“Nadra works tirelessly for the good of our members and social care. Nadra has been Chair and then Executive Chair at NCA for over 20 years. NCA has become a well-respected organisation within the care industry, government, regulators, and Local Authorities through Nadra’s listening to social care providers and representing their efforts to look after some of the most vulnerable people in society through these challenging times.”

Elsewhere, John O'Brien, Secretary to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), was recognised for services to child protection.

John joined the civil service in 2002 as Director of the Criminal Records Bureau. In 2006 he moved to the Home Office, where as Director of Safeguarding he was responsible for policy on public order, public risk and safeguarding and public protection, including responsibility for sponsorship of the Disclosure and Barring Service and the Security Industry Authority. He was seconded to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in April 2015.

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