Sandy is social worker of the year

SASW Social Work Awards 2011. Sandy Watt, Social Worker of the Year, receives his award from Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People (left) and Graeme Rizza, Convenor SASW (right) ..
SASW Social Work Awards 2011. Sandy Watt, Social Worker of the Year, receives his award from Aileen Campbell, Minister for Children and Young People (left) and Graeme Rizza, Convenor SASW (right) ..

A Fraserburgh man has been named Social Worker of the Year by the Scottish Association of Social Work.

Sandy Watt, a Senior Practitioner Social Worker and Mental Health Officer with North Lanarkshire Council, received his award from Children and Young People Minister Aileen Campbell at a special ceremony in Perth.

Sandy (53), who was born and raised in Fraserburgh, was described by colleagues as a “model professional” who is held in the highest regard by service users, fellow social workers and health care workers.

His manager said: “He strives to ensure the best for the people he serves - often the most vulnerable and subject to statutory mental health interventions. Consistently and with quiet confidence, he acts as a catalyst to help bring about change in individuals, families and institutions.”

This was shown by his commitment to supporting a 40-year-old man with “restricted patient” status to live as rich a life in the community as possible.

The man is now attending college, has a part-time job and has got in touch with his family.

Sandy said: “I have been very lucky to continue to work as a social worker in a variety of settings for more than 20 years. I felt decidedly uncomfortable on learning that I had been nominated but the responses I’ve had have been very humbling and moving.

“I am now able to appreciate what these national awards mean in a wider context - positive recognition for the team, council and social work - and I’ll continue to do my best to reflect the pleasure I still get from the job and the high regard I have for it.”

Mr Watt received a trophy to keep, a weekend break in Europe and a year’s free membership of the Scottish Association of Social Work as part of the award win.