Renfrewshire social worker wins top award
Liz Snodgrass, from Renfrewshire Council, has won the first ever Wilma MacDonald Mental Health Officer (MHO) of the Year Award.
The Scottish Association of Social Work (SASW) set up the award in honour of Wilma MacDonald, a Mental Health Officer who worked in the East End of Glasgow for many years. Wilma died in 2010.
Liz was nominated by her colleagues in the MHO Service at Renfrewshire Council. She said, “It’s a great honour and privilege to receive this award, especially as it’s supported by the MacDonald family. Working as an MHO can be very challenging and the support and understanding of colleagues is an essential ingredient in making sure the decisions reached help the individual service user.
“There is a lot of work to do in the area of mental health, not least to try and minimise the stigma of mental illness and to continue to improve the quality of life, and the lifespan, of people who suffer from mental illness. MHOs can and do make a difference in society and it’s great that the SASW has taken the first steps in recognising this.”
Councillor Iain McMillan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community and Family Care Policy Board, said, “This is welcome recognition for Liz personally and for Renfrewshire Council’s Social Work Service.
“Liz is a passionate advocate for the people who use our services. She goes the extra mile to protect people’s rights and puts the individual at the centre of her work. She is an excellent team player and a supportive colleague.
“Importantly, Liz is also keen to pass on her knowledge and best practice. She has been a tutor on the MHO training course and is currently a Practice Assessor. Renfrewshire Council’s goal is to ensure that the Social Work Service is staffed by well qualified and well motivated people and Liz is a shining example.”
Liz’ nomination highlighted an example of her work in dealing with an elderly man on a Guardianship Order. His benefits had built up while he was in hospital but his care home had claimed the money in fees. She navigated a complex system and sought the help of the Office for the Public Guardian, the Care Inspectorate and the Mental Welfare Commission to make sure the care home repaid the money.