Innovative and inspirational social worker short-listed for Lifetime Achievement award

An inspirational Somerset County Council social worker has been short-listed for a prestigious award in recognition of her contribution to the profession over four decades.

Locality Manager Chris Denovan, from East Huntspill, has been selected as a finalist for the Lifetime Achievement category in the annual Social Worker of the Year Awards.

She is one of five finalists in the Lifetime Achievement category. The winners from each category will compete against each other to be named the “Overall Social Worker of the Year 2019” at an event in London in November.

Chris has worked at the County Council for 42 years, starting her career as a volunteer working with young people with physical disabilities. She went on to become a social work assistant then qualified as social worker in 2000. Five years later she became a Team Manager.

She has been are the forefront of Somerset’s innovative community Connect approach, with a passion helping people remain independent and live the lives they want to live. She and her team featured in the recent Panorama care documentaries broadcast earlier this year.

Chris said: “I feel very humbled to have been nominated. I have always have loved my different roles in social care and have been lucky enough to work with lots of amazing people.”

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.

Councillor David Huxtable, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said “We are immensely proud of Chris being shortlisted as a finalist in these national awards.  Chris has used her experience and immense passion for social work to develop her team and help the service innovate.

“She stepped forward to get involved in Panorama documentaries and encouraged her team to trust the process resulting in a very powerful insight into the everyday work we do to support people in need in Somerset.”

The Lifetime Achievement award is sponsored by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and Dr Ruth Allen, CEO, said: “This award celebrates an individual who has dedicated their entire working life to social work and has consistently made a positive difference within their community. To make the shortlist for this award is a phenomenal achievement in itself and we wish all finalists the very best of luck.”