A Nottinghamshire County Council social worker has received a regional award for her support of people with mental health challenges.
Veronica Bell was presented with ‘The Dignity in Care Award’ by TV personality and actor Martin Kemp at The Great East Midlands Care Awards, which was recently held at the Belfry Hotel in Nottingham.
The Great East Midlands Care Awards, supported by the Department of Health, are part of the Great British Care Awards, a series of regional awards which celebrates excellence in social care and pay tribute to those who work in the sector throughout England.
Veronica, from Nottingham, started work as a social worker at Nottinghamshire County Council in 1984. She works with people with mental health issues in the Rushcliffe, Gedling and Broxtowe area.
Chris Harwood from a south Nottinghamshire village has been supported by Veronica. He said: “My social worker Veronica – I call her my arch angel – saved my life. She supported me by organising helpers to come in and work with me to help me get my life back.
“Someone came in and helped organise my home and garden so it is now more manageable for me to keep tidy. I really enjoy gardening now. Before it was overwhelming for me but now it keeps me fit.
“My three dogs are the most precious thing in my life. I do not want to lose them or for them to go into kennels. Veronica has helped me by getting me a support worker to keep me safe at home and keep the dogs in a good condition.”
Veronica said: “I am surprised and deeply humbled to have won this award. I work with a fantastic team who are very supportive. My job can be very challenging, but it is a privilege to work with people with mental health difficulties to support them in making choices to improve their lives.
“The other nominees were outstanding in the social work that they carry out so this award is a real honour.”
The Council’s Promoting Independence Team for Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe, which provide short term support to people with physical disabilities, also received a commendation in Care Team award category.
Veronica will be invited to attend the national finals for either the home care or care home sector which will take place in April and June 2013 at a prestigious venue in London.
The awards are all inclusive, bringing together the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors, as well as unpaid carers, promoting joint working.