Social worker wins prestigious award
A Hillingdon Council social worker has won a prestigious Social Worker of the Year award in recognition of their extraordinary work in social care.
Kudakwashe Kurashwa in Children's Services won the Gold Award -Team Leader of the Year 2021.
Eleven awards were up for grabs between 52 finalists, including social workers, teams and organisations. Nominations for most categories were in excess of 150.
The final winners were announced at a special virtual awards ceremony held on Wednesday 17 November.
Kudakwashe was one of five finalists in the Team Leader of the Year category.
Supported by Devon County Council, the Team Leader of the Year award recognises leaders who have nurtured an effective working environment, achieved cultural change and improved quality and outcomes for individuals and families supported by social work.
Kudakwashe has worked at Hillingdon Council for five years. He began his career as a senior social worker, advanced practitioner prior to becoming a team manager in March 2020.
Kudakwashe was nominated for his exceptional level of professional leadership skills and his ability to apply patience and empathy with everyone he encounters.
Kudakwashe said: "I am deeply honoured and am sincerely grateful for the recognition to have been selected for this award.
"I owe this to my great team, the management around me as well as Hillingdon Council for all the support that they give me.
"This makes social work a really satisfying profession."
Also nominated for an award was Natasha Karmali, a senior social worker in the Learning Disability and Autism team, who was shortlisted in the Adult Social Worker of the Year category.
Hillingdon Council Social Care excels in the quality of its work and the dedication of its staff, which has resulted in the service being shortlisted and winning several awards.
Hillingdon's Adolescents team brought home Gold at the Guardian Public Service Awards in 2019 and silver in the Team of the Year, Children's Services category at the Social Worker of the Year Awards 2019.
At the same awards in 2018, the Young People's Service team were finalists in Team of the Year, Children's Services category.
Cllr Jane Palmer, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care said: "This is a fantastic achievement for Hillingdon's Social Care team and specifically Kudakwashe.
"This award acknowledges the amazing work he does and his commitment to supporting and improving the lives of children and young people in care.
"Kudakwashe has proven he is a leader in his field and this is reflected in the high-quality work he always delivers for Hillingdon residents."