This year, to celebrate World Social Work Day, Parker Rose started a competition called Social Worker of the Year. We created this competition to showcase the wonderful work that Social Workers have done over the past 12 months.

We asked for everyone to submit a Social Worker that they felt has impacted them positively over the last year or that they felt deserves recognition for their fantastic work. The feedback from the competition has been amazing over the last month and we have received so many amazing nominations for Social Workers around the country who are doing fantastic work on a day to day basis.

We are so excited to announce that our winner is Grace Olunlade.

Grace was nominated by her friend, Alison Smith due to her wealth of experience in Social Work and for always being there for her families and colleagues. Alison has told us that Grace has used her own money, time and resources to connect the wider public with social work.

Grace created V Rise which has put on free events over the last couple of years for the wider public. These have included issues such as child to parent violence, sexual exploitation, physical abuse. The aim is to give the public opportunity to connect with professionals, learn and increase the knowledge and understanding of social work. She really wants the public relationship to be improved because she is really passionate and positive about the social work role.

Not only that, Grace has also just set up the network of black British Social Workers to give black social workers a safe space to talk about their own experiences in the social work world.

We spoke to Grace today about winning the competition and we did an interview with her below:

How does it feel to win Social Worker of the Year?

I am completely elated and grateful.

How long have you been a Social Worker?

I have been a Social Worker for 11 years.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Daily opportunity to positively impact people’s lives. I love to help people and see their lives better. My job as a social worker affords me the opportunity to support, empower, encourage and make people feel good about themselves.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

V Rise UK workshops. A platform set up from my passion to educate Ethnic Minority communities about the Child Protection system/process in the UK.

What motivates you to work hard?

I really want to make a difference in people’s lives. I love to help.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into Social Work?

Don’t think twice, go for it. Social work affords individuals the opportunity to impact people’s lives daily. You don’t have to look for ways to be a blessing to people, it’s right there in social work.

Massive congratulations to Grace for winning the competition and the £250 vouchers. Thank you for everything you continuously do for Social Work every day! You’re amazing!