National accolade for Karen

Winner: Karen Maude (second left) collects her award.
Winner: Karen Maude (second left) collects her award.

A Lightcliffe woman who helps train student social workers at Bradford College has been honoured for her contribution to the profession at the national Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Karen Maude was named Practice Educator of the Year at the awards ceremony, which took place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London.

The award recognises social workers who are involved in teaching, assessing and supporting students and newly qualified social workers.

Karen works alongside students on social work degrees at University Centre Bradford College. She supports them on work placements in a range of settings and also delivers some teaching sessions to help prepare students for placements.

The 63-year-old has dedicated herself to mentoring and supporting students since retiring from a 24-year career with Calderdale Council Adult Social Care.

Organisers of the awards said Karen was recognised by colleagues and students alike as a “legendary” supervisor who truly walks alongside those she supports, on hand at all hours of the day to answer questions and offer encouragement.

The judges described Karen as a ‘committed and passionate’ practice educator and praised her ability to instil confidence and determination into her students.

Karen said: “It was an absolute privilege to receive this award. I have been a Practice Educator for many years and aim to bring out the potential in each social work student to be the very best they can be, encouraging them to develop their understanding of social work underpinned by a strong value base.”

Brian Mitchell, Head of School for Social Care and Community Practice at the College, said: “This is an astounding achievement and one Karen should rightly be proud of. Students and colleagues from Bradford College are really pleased for her securing the title Practice Educator of the Year.

“The award is due recognition and acknowledgement of Karen’s brilliance within her role. The nomination was endorsed by all the key stakeholders within The Bradford Social Work Teaching Partnership.”