Worcester social worker wins top award for work in the sector

Kidderminster Shuttle: HONOURED: Peter Gilbert. HONOURED: Peter Gilbert.

A SOCIAL worker’s outstanding contribution to helping people with mental health and learning disabilities has been recognised with a top national award.

Peter Gilbert, a former director of social services at Worcestershire County Council, received the Outstanding Contribution to Social Work trophy at The Social Worker of the Year Awards ceremony at the Lancaster London hotel.

The awards recognise achievement by social care professionals across the country.

After qualifying as a registered social worker Prof Gilbert, from Worcester, became director of operations at Staffordshire County Council, before spending four years at Worcestershire County Council.

His specialism in dealing with learning disabilities and mental health led him to become a widely respected expert on the topics.

Prof Gilbert was unable to attend the awards ceremony last week due to ill health.

But Prof Ray Jones, who collected the trophy on his behalf, said he handed over the gong soon after.

“I was able to present Peter with his award myself recently and he was thrilled,” Prof Jones said.

“I’m so glad that he is able to know how much he is admired and respected. His wisdom, integrity and charm have had a huge impact on the social work profession and he has been a real ambassador and champion for social workers.”

Annie Hudson, chief executive of The College of Social Work, which sponsored the award, praised Prof Gilbert’s role in bringing social work and mental health services to the top of the agenda.

“Peter’s contribution to social work has been significant and profound,” she said.

“His focus on humanising social work and mental health services and integrating spirituality with social care has had an important and positive impact. “He has been a passionate and powerful advocate for social work.”

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