Life-changing work in Scotland’s social services recognised at awards in Edinburgh

Scotland’s social services have been honoured for their outstanding commitment to improving the lives of the people they support at the Scottish Social Services Awards.

To mark 2018 as the Year of Young People, a new award was introduced to recognise those working in Children’s Services who play a crucial role in helping disadvantaged young people realise their potential. This was judged entirely by a children’s panel.

Jackie Brock, Chief Executive of Children in Scotland, which coordinated the panel explains: “It was a fantastic award to introduce because for the first time its children who have actually experienced children’s services deciding and telling people what matters to them, and what makes a winner, so it has been a wonderful opportunity for them to have their say.”

Now 12 individuals, teams or organisations have been announced as this year’s winners, having triumphed over more than 100 nationwide entries from across the third sector, independent organisations, local authorities and the NHS.

The awards featured 10 distinct categories, such as ‘Silo Buster’, ‘Head Above the Parapet’ and ‘The Courage to Take a Risk’, which are designed to acknowledge innovation, joined up thinking and recognise people and organisations which help vulnerable people.

The 2018 categories and winners are:

  • Living the Codes: Balhousie Clement Park Personalised Environment
  • Bright Spark: Emma Scott, Pear Tree Nursery
  • An enlightened approach: Gil Martin, University of Dundee
  • Glasgow City Ambition Network: Simon Community Scotland, The Marie Trust, Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership, Glasgow City Mission, Turning Point Scotland
  • The Courage to Take a Risk: Anthony Miller, East Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership
  • Making Research and Evidence Real: Birchwood Highland – Migrant Mental Health in the Highlands
  • Thought Leadership: Amy McKellar, Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership
  • The Untold Story: Tommy Murphy, Support for Ordinary Living
  • Head about the Parapet: Scottish Women’s Autism Network – SWAN
  • Excellence in Children’s Services: Broxburn Family Centre, Play is our work AND Multi-Cultural Family Base’s Safe Haven Project

Minister for Childcare and Early Years, Maree Todd, who presented the awards, said: “The calibre of entries from across Scotland this year was outstanding and it’s been wonderful to see the vital and life changing work being carried out by so many impressive people and initiatives.

“All the finalists should be commended for their continual compassion and commitment to improving the lives of others. It was particularly fantastic to see so many young people recognised this year and to hear their stories – they are truly an asset to Scotland’s Social Services.

“I have been hugely impressed and I would like to applaud everyone involved once again for the incredibly admirable work that they do.”

The awards were held at Mansfield Traquair in Edinburgh on June 6 and were jointly compered by the Minister for Childcare and Early Years and Chelsea Cameron (pictured), winner of 2017 Sunday Mail Young Scot of the Year Award. 

Chelsea added: “Over the past year and a half, I have felt incredibly privileged to speak up on behalf of young people across Scotland, so it was a real honour to be part of this special awards ceremony and celebrate the invaluable work being carried out by young people across the social services sector.”

Full details and films of the winning entries can be found at and short films of all the award entries, produced by film and media students from Edinburgh College, City of Glasgow College, Dumfries & Galloway and North East Scotland Colleges can be viewed on YouTube.