Norfolk social worker Aravind Satheesh has won a national award at the recent Social Worker of the Year Awards. Here, he explains why he is dedicating it to all the student social workers striving to make their community a better place
A Norfolk social worker has scooped a gold award at a prestigious awards ceremony celebrating the social work profession. Aravind Satheesh, who works in Norfolk County Council’s People from Abroad Team, won the Student Social Worker of the Year Award, after beating off competition from across the country. The Social Worker of the Year Awards saw people across England gather to celebrate positive stories of outstanding social work, creative and compassionate practitioners and outstanding practice.
Aravind has already shown so much tenacity and commitment to the profession. He previously worked as a Student Social Worker and Development Worker in the People from Abroad Team at Norfolk County Council where he supported families arriving under the Refugee Settlement Programmes, as well as those under the Homes for Ukraine initiative. Aravind is now a Social Worker at Norfolk County Council, helping refugees arriving in the UK under various resettlement schemes.
In addition to his social work role, Aravind has worked with The Matthew Project to support young people with vulnerabilities, including substance misuse issues. He also led a successful event for victims of the Turkish and Syrian earthquakes, raising more than £5,000.
Aravind says: ‘This award is the result of a team effort, I dedicate this award to both my placement teams People from Abroad Team and The Matthew Project and to all the student social workers out there, who are managing their university work, placements and sometime part-time job and working through all the adversities in pursuit of making this community a better place. I would also like to thank my professors at UEA for believing in me and always supporting me. This profession gives me the opportunity to make a positive change in people’s life, this motivates me to be Social Worker.’
Christine Cocker, Head of School for Social Work at UEA, says: ‘We are very proud of Aravind and the contribution he made to his placements with Norfolk County Council whilst studying for his MA in Social Work at UEA. He has a promising and rewarding career as a social worker in front of him, and we wish him all the best for his future.’
Cllr Alison Thomas, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services adds: ‘Congratulations to Aravind on his achievement of winning the Student Social Worker of the Year Gold Award. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Aravind when I met with the People from Abroad Team at Norfolk County Council. It was fantastic to hear how he had helped service users under various resettlement schemes to integrate into life in the UK, understand the community, and navigate the system. As a parent of a Social Worker, I see first-hand how incredibly hard they work and how they genuinely want to help those they work with. I look forward to seeing his passion for helping people thrive as a Social Worker at Norfolk County Council. Aravind is just one of the dedicated and passionate social workers that work for the council, supporting people across the county.’
The aim of the Social Worker of the Year Awards is to recognise and celebrate the challenging work that qualified social workers do day in, day out, and highlight their achievements.
Corinne Avery, who leads the County Council’s learning disability service, was also shortlisted as Team Leader of the Year for Adult Social Care.
Visit Norfolk County Council.
Picture credit: Simon Shreeve