University of Ulster Chancellor, Dr James Nesbitt, has praised the ‘excellent’ and ‘unselfish work’ carried out by social workers across Northern Ireland.
Chancellor Nesbitt was guest speaker at the annual Social Work Awards hosted by the Western Health and Social Care Trust in the Guildhall, Derry~Londonderry.
Extern Multi-systemic Therapy Team, based in Newtownabbey, was announced as the overall winner at the event.Dr Nesbitt said: “The University of Ulster is at the heart of the provision of quality education in social work and its highly professional team is committed to producing high quality graduates for the profession.
“We are all gathered in this City’s beautiful and historic Guildhall to recognise the work of a very special group of individuals and teams and their selfless dedication towards improving the quality of life, health and well-being of individuals and families, and in helping to build community infrastructure that promotes the development of a quality social environment.
“The awards that are being presented are about recognising the excellent, diverse and unselfish work that is carried out by social work professionals and celebrating the many outstanding achievements of social workers across Northern Ireland.”Mr Gerard Guckian, Western Trust Chairman, added: “These awards are about recognising the best work in the profession and to be nominated is an outstanding achievement in itself.
“It has often properly been said that nurses are the backbone of the National Health Service, but we are a health and social care service and I have no doubt that social workers are absolutely vital to ensure high quality care is delivered to all.“Social workers are the link between health and social care, the professionals that people will rely on to integrate the service and to break down barriers. Their work really matters; it really makes a difference to patients and clients and can truly transform lives.”
After delivering his keynote address at the Social Work Awards, Dr Nesbitt travelled to the University’s Belfast campus where he welcomed new staff to the Faculty of Arts, met with international students during their induction and attended an event hosted by the Prince’s Trust at Belfast Harbour Commissioner's Office.