Four from University make finals of Social Worker of the Year Awards

A postgraduate in the Institute of Education and three Social Work graduates have been shortlisted for this year’s Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Emma Goodall, who is in the second year of studying towards a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD), is a finalist in the Practice Educator or the Year category. And she will be joined by BA (Hons) Social Work graduate Donna-Marie Wilson, and MA Social Work alumni Nikki Stenning and Lucy Hunt at the awards ceremony in London on Friday 30 November.

The three graduates have all been nominated by current employer Devon County Council, Donna-Marie and Nikki in the Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year category, and Lucy for Adult Social Worker of the Year.

Emma is a specialist social worker currently employed by Cornwall Council as a professional Practice Educator. She has returned to the University for the EdD, having graduated from Plymouth in 2007 with a first in BSc (Hons) Social Work.  

93 social workers and social work teams from across England have been selected across 16 different categories in the awards, which aim to celebrate the achievements of practitioners in both children’s and adult services. The winners in each category will compete against each other to be named overall Social Worker of the Year 2018.

Emma said: 

“I am honoured and proud to be shortlisted in these awards, which are key to promoting the positive work done by social workers. Along with my work for Cornwall Council, the EdD was highlighted in my nomination as a significant part of my self-development.

It is really starting to change my approach to learning, and I am beginning to see the results in practice. It is most certainly important to my social work identity.

I feel privileged to represent the Council and the University of Plymouth in accepting a place in the final for this prestigious professional award.”

EdD Programme Leader Dr Ulrike Hohmann added: 

“I am proud that Emma has been shortlisted, and am pleased to see that her academic work towards the doctorate strengthens her professional practice, and in this sense contributed to her nomination.”

At last year’s Social Worker of the Year Awards Gareth Benjamin, a graduate from the BA programme in 2013, won the Mental Health Social Worker of the Year category.

Margaret Jelley, Lecturer in Social Work said:

“These successes prove that the Social Work programmes at the University are producing excellent social work professionals, recognised at national level.”

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The MA Education meets individual needs at M-level. Further study involves two doctoral programmes: Professional Doctorate (EdD) or PhD.

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