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Student honoured in social work awards

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Emma Hamilton (centre) with Graeme Rizza, Convener of SASW and Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People

Emma Hamilton (centre) with Graeme Rizza, Convener of SASW and Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People. Picture: Douglas Robertson Photography

A student at the University of Stirling has been Highly Commended in the "Student Social Worker of the Year" awards held by the Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW).

Emma Hamilton, from Rosyth, who is in the final year of her MSc in Social Work Studies, received her award from Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell at a special ceremony in the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh.

Emma, 32, gained the award for her outstanding work while on placement with an adult care team at Fife Council. She took on some challenging cases including a family about to be evicted from their home. Emma was able to help the family represent themselves in court and avoid eviction.

A former pupil of Dunfermline High School, Emma has worked in the social care sector for 16 years helping people with varied and complex needs including children, older people and people with disabilities.

During this time she gained an HNC in Social Care and HND in Social Sciences at Fife College before completing a BA in Learning Difficulties and Disabilities with the University of Abertay. She developed an interest in a social work career after experiencing at first hand the work they did.

Emma said: "I am passionate about helping people and although social work is at times challenging, it is also very rewarding when you see the difference that you can make to people and their lives.

"I was fortunate to have had fantastic support from everyone involved in my placement at Fife Council including my tutor, practice teacher, link worker and the team I was placed in. Through their support, I was able to develop my skills and confidence and I look forward to beginning my career as a qualified social worker."

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, said: "Social work is truly life changing work and is one of the most demanding and complex tasks which we as a society ask any group of people to do on our behalf.

"All of those in the profession should be proud of the work they do. I congratulate all of the nominees and winners of the awards."

Trisha Hall, Manager of SASW, said: "We are proud to host these awards as once again we have been humbled and impressed by what social workers are achieving in Scotland today.

"These people have influenced the lives of many and represent a profession which aims to do so in communities throughout the country. There are stories of people who did not want any contact with social work but are now telling others what a difference their relationship with the worker has made."

The overall winners each received a trophy to keep, a European weekend break and a year’s free membership of SASW.

The SASW Social Work Awards 2013 were presented by Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People, at a ceremony in the Grassmarket Community Project, Edinburgh on 18 March.

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