Council Social Worker and Gardener Win Awards

by Alastair Hamilton -

The work of two Shetland Islands Council employees, a Social Work Team Leader and a Gardener, has been recognised in national awards.

Elinor Thompson, who leads the Children and Families Social Work Team, was shortlisted for an award as Social Worker of the Year. However, when she attended the Scottish Association of Social Work’s annual awards ceremony in Edinburgh, she instead picked up a special award for Leadership in Social Work.

Elinor’s colleagues in the Children and Families Social Work Team put her forward for the award because they were so impressed by her skills. The awards aim to promote the public image of social work and, this year, there were more nominations than ever before.

...they were so impressed by her skills...

Helen Budge, the Council’s Director of Children’s Services, paid a warm tribute to Elinor. “Social work can be a challenging profession and social workers can often have to make difficult decisions. Elinor leads by example and has a quiet resolve and dignity in the face of competing demands. She has led the service through a well thought out period of improvement and is a well deserved nominee for this national award.”

Elinor Thompson said that she had been “humbled” to have been shortlisted in the first place, adding that “nothing we achieve is achieved alone and this is a recognition of the commitment and professionalism of the Children and Families Team and all the work that we do as a multi-agency team here in Shetland.”

Elinor leads by example

Meanwhile, Liam Anderson, an apprentice gardener with Shetland Islands Council, won a CARAS (Council of Awards of Royal Agricultural Societies) prize in Lantra Scotland’s Learner of the Year Awards. At the ceremony at Dunblane Hydro, Liam was also named as runner-up in the Horticulture category.

Liam is studying for Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Parks, Gardens and Open Spaces. He works for the Council’s Sport and Leisure Service, based at the Jubilee Flower Park in King Harald Street, Lerwick. His training is overseen by staff at Train Shetland and he attends periods of block-release study at Elmwood College in Fife, part of Scotland’s Rural College network. Liam has previously completed an SVQ Level 2 in Horticulture, where he was awarded a prize for best SVQ.

Liam also writes the popular Flower Park blog on the Council’s website, where he provides updates on activities in the Flower Park and gardening advice.

Liam wasn’t the only Shetland representative in Dunblane. Martin Mladenov, from Lerwick, also won a CARAS award, recognising his work as a husbandryman at Scottish Sea Farms. He has completed a Modern Apprenticeship SVQ Level 3 in Aquaculture.

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