8 November 2023
Social workers receive silver honours at industry awards
Jan Ledbrook and Jen Daines were representing Wokingham Borough Council at the Social Worker of the Year Awards
Two dedicated social workers at Wokingham Borough Council achieved silver honours at this year’s Social Worker of the Year Awards.
Jen Daines was representing the council in the Adult Social Worker of the Year category, while Jan Ledbrook was up for the Team Leader of the Year for adult services prize.
The awards night was held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on Friday 3 November to recognise excellence and hard work in the industry.
With more than 50 years of experience between them, both are team managers and they were named as finalists for their respective awards after being nominated by colleagues.
Jen, who has been working for the council for 20 years, was nominated for a project she championed called Clumsy Conversations. She has successfully worked with staff to help them feel empowered, creating open and honest conversations about the challenges faced and how everyone can play a part in generating positivity and support ethnically diverse staff.
This was in response to the killing of George Floyd in America and the Black Lives Matter movement.
'It has really inspired me going forward'
Jen said: “The awards night was such a wonderful celebration of all the good practice going on at councils across England, with some inspirational stories of where workers and teams had really helped make a difference. The bright lights and impressive venue were a stark contrast to the day-to-day work of most social workers, but it was amazing to have that space to stop and celebrate and congratulate our peers.
“It’s really inspired me going forward, but it also made me realise how much of the good work going on in Wokingham Borough isn’t recognised enough. Sitting among the audience of more than 400 people and hearing my name called out was overwhelming and it was extra special to share the success with my long-time colleague Jan. I am so grateful to have been nominated for this award.”
Jan, the team manager for the health liaison team, is celebrating 30 years with the council this year.
She said: “It was a great honour to be a finalist at the Social Worker of the Year Awards. The room was full of more than 400 social workers from both adult and children’s services across the country, with many fascinating and inspiring stories for the winning finalists.
“When my category for Team Leader of the Year was announced, I felt slightly nervous, but delighted when my name was announced as a silver award winner. It felt wonderful to make my way to the stage to collect my award and then when Jen’s name was also called out, it felt the evening was a success: two finalists and two silver awards and a crowning outcome to the evening for us both.”
Jan moved into the health liaison team in 2017, with her main responsibility being to manage hospital discharge.
Shining a light on unsung heroes
Jen and Jan were accompanied by Cllr David Hare, executive member for health, wellbeing and adult services, at the awards night.
He said: “I was thrilled and honoured to be invited to attend the awards. Having experienced a career in social work myself, it was a fabulous opportunity to celebrate the enormous positive contributions that social workers make to the lives of vulnerable people in a role that I know from first-hand experience can be complex and challenging.
“The evening was a thoroughly celebratory affair and I was absolutely delighted to see Jan and Jen pick up silver awards. Both awards were incredibly well deserved and demonstrate the wealth of talent, hard work and commitment taking place by our adult social care teams in the borough. Congratulations once again.”
If you are interested in becoming a social worker with Wokingham Borough Council, roles are varied and you won’t find a more rewarding career. Visit our website or search for ‘careers in social work in Wokingham’ to find the latest opportunities.