Stars glitter at staff awards

Individuals and teams of staff from Doncaster Children’s Services Trust have been awarded for their dedication and contribution to improving the lives of local children, young people and families.

The Trust's STAR Awards, now in their fourth year, are held for staff and external workers and aim to celebrate those who go that extra mile and truly make a difference through their passion and commitment to helping families.

Certificates and trophies were handed out at the ceremony, which was held at Doncaster College, after the winners of 13 categories had been chosen out of a bumper 160 entries. These include awards for Social Worker of the Year, Manager of the Year and Support Colleague of the Year. In addition, there were two surprise awards. One was the Chief Executive’s Award, which went to the Trust’s team of Young Advisors; and another Outstanding Contribution Award, which went to long-term foster carers Janet and Stuart Roberts.

The title of Social Worker of the Year went to Veronica Bawden, whose nominators cited her practice as being intrinsically centred around the children and young people she works with. Her nominators said: “She treats all the children as if they are part of her family…and will celebrate their successes as she would those of her own children.”

Veronica will, they say, advocate for the young people to achieve the best outcome for them but makes it clear when their behaviour is not acceptable.

“Whenever possible, she supports the young person to make their own choices, building their self-esteem and confidence to fulfil their wishes and dreams,” the nominators say.

Meanwhile, a Trust Personal Advisor with the Inspiring Futures Team, Alex Stevenson, won the Improving People’s Lives gong.

Her nominators state that Alex has made a ‘huge impact’ since she joined the Trust two years ago and describe her as ‘a motivating guidance worker’ for young people – and one who often takes on extra roles in addition to her job.

For example, last year she went on a residential trip to the Lake District in a bid to increase the confidence and self-esteem of a group of hard-to-reach young people.

In addition, she was at the forefront of encouraging a group of care leavers to take part in the Ride for London cycle festival, for which she joined the young people in cycling 46 miles around the capital after guiding them through six months’ of tough training.

Commenting on the event, Trust Chief Executive Paul Moffat said: “The Star Awards are a real chance for staff to recognise the amazing – and often behind the scenes – work that our colleagues here at the Trust carry out each and every day to make a positive impact on the lives of Doncaster children, young people and families in need.

“It’s always a humbling experience to help present the awards and I thoroughly enjoy being there to help celebrate with our finalists and winners.”

Trust Chair, Tony Hunter, said: “As a Doncaster born and bred person, the dedication shown by staff and partners of the Trust towards helping children, young people and families in the area touches me deeply. They quietly make such a difference and their sheer determination not to let families down is awe-inspiring.”

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