National award for inspirational children’s social worker

A children's social worker has told of his pride after being awarded silver in the national Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Modest Ben Chisanga immediately thanked his team after winning what is one of the UK’s most prestigious awards at a glittering ceremony in central London.

Ben, a member of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s Asylum Through Care Team, was one of six finalists.

One of the founder members of the Regional Refugee Forum North East organisation, Ben has worked with vulnerable young people from our region for decades.

His nomination outlined some of Ben’s achievements since he started working at the Council 18 months ago. It explained that Ben has helped break down barriers and support and guide the young people that he works closely with, the youngsters who often call him “Big Ben.”

After winning the award in London’s prestigious Royal Lancaster Hotel, Ben said:

“It was a wonderful experience. There is so much that is negatively said about social workers so it’s really important that events like this recognise and celebrate the good work that social workers do”.

“I feel like the award was for the whole team. We have a saying in Africa, where I’m from originally: ‘I am, because we are.’ We are all interlinked, I am honoured to be part of such a supportive, innovative team”.

What I’ve really loved is hearing from our young people, all saying, ‘well done’ and ‘congratulations.’ It makes me proud.”

Ben’s manager, Elaine Spencer, who was also at the ceremony, said: “We are so, so proud of ‘our big Ben!’ It’s so well deserved. And, as Ben says, we are a team, advocating for our children and young people. From higher management of Redcar and Cleveland to our teams, we all have the same goal, striving to do the best and to make a difference”  “we are all delighted for Ben.”

Cllr Luke Myer, Cabinet Member for Children, said: “I’d like to say the warmest of congratulations to Ben on his very much deserved award. What Ben and all his colleagues do for young people in our borough, every single day, is incredible. If I could, I’d give them all gold medals.”

Are you a social worker? Come and join our team and contact our Principal Social Worker Mandy Davis