Tributes Paid To Social Worker Killed On Duty
Tributes have been paid to Lancashire dad Philip Ellison, the social worker stabbed to death while doing his job.
Married father-of-three Mr Ellison, of Leyland Road, Penwortham, was attacked with a knife at a supported housing block in Glebe Close, Fulwood, Preston on Monday.
The 47-year-old, a social worker in adult care at Lancashire County Council, suffered multiple stab wounds and later died of his injuries.
Social care bosses and community leaders described Mr Ellison as a “respected, dedicated social worker”.
One friend said: “Deepest sympathies to his wife, sons and extended family.
“I considered Phil one of those people who genuinely cared and went the extra mile for people. It’s a sad situation to find social workers put into danger to be killed trying to do their best.”
Mahmud Amirat, chairman of the Preston Gujarat Muslim Welfare Society, said: “Philip was a friend of mine. He was a respected, dedicated social worker and active popular representative of member of the local Asian community.
“He will be sadly missed by his family and friends. May I, through the Lancashire Evening Post, on behalf of the local community offer our sincere condolences to Mr Ellison’s family and friends.”
Another friend said: “I went to school with Philip and I’m sure all his ex-schoolmates will all be saddened by this tragic loss.
“He was such a lovely guy. My condolences go out to his family.”
One colleague who attended the scene at Glebe Close, described him as “such a lovely bloke”.
Mr Ellison has been described as a jolly man who loved his family.
Friend Rukhsana Tabassul of Watling Street Road, Fulwood, worked with three of Mr Ellison’s sisters as a community support worker. She said: “We were all good friends, it’s a very, very sad story. He was a very hard working husband, he was a very jolly person.
“He loved music, he played drums and was a singer.”
Mrs Tabassul said Mr Ellison was a caring family man to his wife Seraphine, a social worker, and three sons.
She says Philip had helped his brothers and sisters through a difficult time last year, when his mother died, and was planning a memorial event to remember her next month.
She said: “It’s terrible news, we’re all in shock. He worked hard for his family, now he has lost his life for his family.”
Speaking as the tragedy unfolded on Monday, Chris Cheetham, cabinet member for adult and community services at Lancashire County Council, said: “My first thoughts are with his family and friends. It is a dreadful loss.
“I don’t expect to get messages saying a member of my staff has been killed.
“I know social workers get a lousy press but it should remind people they do an important and sometimes dangerous job.”
Michael Welsh, Preston North East county councillor, said: “It is obviously a tragedy that a member of staff should be murdered in this way.
“One can only feel desperately sorry for his family and realise the very real dangers our staff do undertake.
“I do not think people realise, it is just like any other front line service – they have to deal with difficult people.”
Neal Linsky, branch development officer for Unison, which has more than 300,000 social care workers among its membership, said: “Unison wishes to express its deepest sympathy to Mr Ellison’s family, friends and colleagues.
“His death is a tragedy and illustrates the dangers of this type of job.”