Mentor to aspiring social workers wins award

Dave Thomas has won a social worker award.
Dave Thomas has won a social worker award.

A mentor who teaches aspiring social workers has won a gold accolade at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Dave Thomas has been an external practice educator for Central Bedfordshire Council for five years, where his role includes mentoring social work students from Beds University during their placements with the council.

He also serves as the council’s external Assessed and Supported Year in Employment Assessor, the external Practice Educator on the Training in Employment Route programme, and the Learner Guide for the Step Up to Social Work scheme.

Dave won gold in the Practice Educator of the Year category at the awards held in London.

Judges noted that his ‘strong interest in dyslexia and other learning disabilities means he is able to offer an unrivalled level of support to these students’.

Dave said: “I feel privileged and humbled in having won the award. I thoroughly enjoy undertaking the practice educator role, enabling social work students and promoting the social work profession.”

Colleagues and students, who nominated Dave, described him as ‘one in a million’.

Learning and development manager at the council Ray Halford said: “I had no hesitation in nominating Dave as he has always gone the extra mile. His passion for social work clearly enthuses all those he works with.

“Dave has been central to the continued success of our Assessed and Supported Year in Employment programme.”