Somerset Social Worker praised at national event

Photo of Social Worker Eddie Dube

Somerset based social worker Eddie Dube has received widespread praise and national recognition for an article he wrote about Power, Trust and Race in the wake of the death of George Floyd in July.

The piece, which can be read on the Social Worker of the Year Awards blog, has garnered national attention and attracted praise from the Chief Social Workers for its exploration of the role social work has to play in tackling racism.

As a result, Mr Dube was invited to talk at a virtual ‘Thank You Social Workers’ event on the 26th November, which took place instead of the usual annual Social Worker of the Year Awards.

A video interview was produced to present at the awards, in which Eddie discussed his family background and career as a social worker, in addition to the themes in his article Power, Trust, and Race. The event organisers reported being left speechless by Eddie’s video, which they described as ‘absolutely incredible’.

Two other Social Workers from Somerset County Council were also recognised at the event – Frances Folkard and Sam McClean, who garnered attention for their written reflections of their experiences working in mental health during the pandemic.

The digital event was broadcast live to an audience of Britain’s social workers, including Joint-Chief Social Workers for Adults, Mark Harvey and Fran Leddra, and Chief Social Worker for Children and Families, Isabelle Trowler, who praised Social Workers across the nation, saying:

“We are now seven months into the pandemic, seven months that has seen you and your colleagues respond beyond all expectations. You have continued to advocate for individuals and delivered the best possible support and care that our communities have needed. We have no doubt that for many this will have come at a cost, and we have heard both examples of great innovation and adaptability, and stories of great sadness as you have remained at the heart of the human story.”

Councillor David Huxtable, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: “It’s great to see our social workers acknowledged at this national event, but I want to personally thank all of our social workers for their excellent work in what has been a year of unparalleled challenge for their profession. It’s fantastic to see Eddie Dube’s powerful reflection on Power, Trust, and Race get the national attention it deserves – being inclusive, treating each other with kindness and respect, and building trust in communities has never been so important.”

Mel Lock, Director of Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council said: “This year has been a really tough year for all our staff working across health and social care. In the face of unprecedented adversity, they have shown incredible tenacity and courage – working together like never before, finding innovative digital solutions to get people the help they need remotely, and going above and beyond the call of duty to serve the people of Somerset – often at great cost to themselves. We must never forget the personal sacrifices they have made.

It’s wonderful to see our social workers honoured at this national event – they are among the hidden heroes of the pandemic, and that needs to change. For many, they are the human face of the council – providing emotional support, championing rights and social justice, and putting people at the heart of what they do.”

Support is available to anyone who needs it via the Somerset Coronavirus Support Helpline on 0300 790 6275. The helpline is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm and offers a range of support – from help accessing food or medicines, to emotional and financial support, and employment, skills and business advice.

You can watch Eddie Dube’s video here: Proud to Care Somerset – A Social Worker’s reflection on Power, Trust, and Race – YouTube

The Social Worker of the Year Awards were established in 2006 and is a registered charity (No. 1144458) with a small team which manages and steers the development of the awards.

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