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Academic named Social Work Lecturer of the Year

Academic named Social Work Lecturer of the Year

An inspirational academic at the University of Chester has been named the University Social Work Lecturer of the Year. 

Bridget Caffrey was described by the judges of the Social Worker of the Year awards as “an exceptionally talented academic who inspires and enthuses others”.

The Social Worker of the Year Awards is the only major national awards event for social work in England, attracting hundreds of entries every year and reaching millions of people with positive stories of outstanding social work, creative and compassionate practitioners and outstanding practice. 

Supported by Essex County Council, the Award is open to Lecturers of Social Work at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) who provide outstanding and effective social work education for their students. 

Bridget joined the University of Chester as a Senior Lecturer in 2015, becoming programme lead for the MA in Social Work, a role she held for several years. Since joining the University of Chester Bridget has developed her interest in practice education, carrying out research into student experiences in practice. Bridget is enthusiastic about Social Work education and the student experience. Bridget teaches several modules on the BA social work programme and the MA social work programme and is a Personal Academic Tutor for many students, developing an excellent awareness of the challenges faced by many students, both in their personal and academic lives. 

Bridget has also successfully researched and published in social work and shares this with students in her teaching sessions, basing research in the ‘real world’. Bridget has recently received a Senior Fellowship of the HEA (Advance HE) in recognition of her teaching role and of her skills as a Social Work Lecturer. 

She was nominated for the award by her colleague Dr Valerie Gant with testimonials from students she has taught and inspired.

Bridget said: “I am very proud and honoured to win lecturer of the year at the Social Work Awards 2023. I had a fabulous evening and was humbled by the judges’ comments. I truly appreciate the many congratulatory messages from students and colleagues since, thank you. 

“The awards ceremony was a wonderful celebration of social work and made all the more special by several of our former University of Chester students being nominated too. It was a privilege to be there, hear inspiring speakers and have the achievements of so many talented social workers get the recognition they deserve.”

Professor Angela Simpson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Society, said:

“I am absolutely thrilled that Bridget has won this award which recognises her skills and talents in this way. We are all incredibly proud of her achievement and feel privileged to have her in our team.”

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