BRIGHTER FUTURES AWARD

At ‘Brighter Futures’ we recognise the important role social workers and key workers have in supporting us. A good social worker or key worker can make all the difference between a young person feeling safe, listened to and optimistic about the future or feeling isolated, threatened and stuck. We know that a good social worker or key worker that goes the extra mile can open the door to our future. We understand the challenges social workers and key workers face, and so want to recognise when a practitioner goes the extra mile.

 

The Brighter Futures Award was established to celebrate the work of exceptional social workers and key workers and shine a light on what makes them so special.

The first Award Ceremony took place on the 25th April 2012 at the Bishopsgate institute. Over 140 social workers and professionals attended to recognise outstanding Social Workers and Key Workers who go the extra mile for young refugees. Members of Brighter Futures presented awards alongside Helen Bamber (OBE) to the following practitioners:

  • Jacquie Hamilton (Newham Social Services)
    In recognition of helping a young refugee through a crisis
  • Dawn Gager (Salvation Army)
    In recognition of supporting a young refugee through worrying times
  • Fanny Prince (Croydon Social Services)
    In recognition of supporting a young refugee through worrying times
  • Diane Simpson (Croydon Social Services)
    In recognition of supporting young refugees achieve a brighter future in education
  • Sabine Larribeau (Just for Kids Law)
    In recognition of advocating for a young refugee’s rights
  • Abdirahman Osman (Hounslow Social Services)
    In recognition of making time for a young refugee even when busy
  • Rona Grabowski (Luton Social Services)
    In recognition of going the extra mile for a young refugee
  • Stephanie McGreevy (Merton and Wandsworth Asylum Welcome)
    In recognition of going the extra mile for a young refugee

ABOUT THE AWARD

The idea of the Brighter Futures Award came from young refugees and asylum seekers who felt the need to raise awareness and improve the level of support towards young refugees. They wanted to recognise social workers making a difference to their lives in various ways.

As a result the group undertook a piece of research, in collaboration with Queen Mary University of London, and produced the report “Flowers that grow from concrete: How support serviced determine a young refugee’s life opportunities” launched at London City Hall in September 2011.

The interim report looked into three key areas – Age disputes, Education and Post-18 Services for young asylum seekers and refugees. 32 young people aged 14-25 were interviewed as part of the research, while another 21 young people participated in 3 separate focus groups, and all expressed their views about their experience with a social worker or key worker.

The report highlighted that young people understood the financial and work pressures placed upon social workers and key workers. However the report highlighted small measures which would make substantial differences to young people seeking safety. The report highlighted both good practice and bad practice with an aim of promoting examples of existing best practice.

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Download the report