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ARU’s Solomon wins national social work prize

Published: 10 November 2022 at 15:00

Solomon Tugbiyele

Graduates from Social Work course pick up awards during ceremony in London

Solomon Tugbiyele, who graduated from his degree in Social Work at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the summer, been named Student Social Worker of the Year at a national awards ceremony.

Solomon received his award at the Social Work of the Year Awards in London, hosted by BBC journalist and presenter Ashley John-Baptiste. He was joined on the awards list by ARU graduate Sehrish Zeb, who won the Silver award in the category of Newly Qualified Adult Social Worker of the Year. Another ARU graduate, Dawn Bedwell, was shortlisted in the category of Newly Qualified Children’s Social Worker of the Year.

The Social Worker of the Year Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of practitioners and social work teams up and down the country in one of our most demanding professions.

Supported by Torbay Council, the Student Social Worker of the Year category is for university students studying social work who are showing outstanding potential in their studies; surpassing expectations and have a thorough understanding of social work theory and practice.

Solomon’s nomination included the impact he had in his 70-day placement at a school. His nominators included his practice educator and the local authority, who praised his actions and composure when responding to an emergency incident whilst on his 100-day placement.

Solomon now plans to complete his Assessed and Supported Year in Employment, a programme that gives social workers extra assistance during their first year in employment. His long-term hopes are to address racial inequality in social work, and influence policy to help less privileged people in society.

Solomon, who lives in Stanford-Le-Hope, was joined by his daughter at the awards night. Solomon said:

“I am dedicating this award to almighty God, my family, all my course-mates, my lecturers at Anglia Ruskin University, all my placement practice educators, onsite supervisors, and ARU as an institution.

“I have strong compassion and deep empathy for vulnerable individuals in the community. I believe that being a social worker will enable me to support and advocate for individuals who may not be able to voice their opinions or protect their rights.”

Jenny Rafter, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of School for Education and Social Work at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said:

“Solomon has been a vibrant and compassionate student, always reaching out and helping his fellow peers.

“I am delighted for Solomon, Sehrish and Dawn. They all have bright careers ahead of them and I wish them all the best for the future.”

Solomon becomes the second ARU student to win Gold in the the Student of the Year category following the success of Mary Carter in 2019.

Social Work degrees at ARU

We're proud to have been training social workers for more than 20 years, and we offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Social Work. Find out more about the courses, and student life at ARU, at one of our Open Days.