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Top award for social workers who help Norfolk’s Syrian refugees to start new lives

PUBLISHED: 20:29 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 20:29 07 December 2018

Norfolk County Council's People From Abroad Team at the Social Worker of the Year awards 2018. Pic: Matt Grayson

Norfolk County Council's People From Abroad Team at the Social Worker of the Year awards 2018. Pic: Matt Grayson

Copyright (2018) Matt Grayson, all right reserved

A social work team from Norfolk County Council which has worked to help the Syrian refugees who have settled in the county have won a top prize at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

A social work team helps Syrian refugees fleeing civil to settle in the Norfolk has won a top prize at the Social Worker of the Year Awards.

Norfolk County Council’s People from Abroad Team was named the winner in the creative and innovative social work practice category at the national event in London.

The team, based in the Millennium Library in Norwich, was set up in October 2016 to respond to the needs of migrants and Syrian refugees arriving in Norfolk.

They based themselves in the library to provide a non-threatening environment and allow the families they work with to attend other volunteer based services, such as arts and craft, reading and English exchange groups.

The judges praised the team for its imaginative and inclusive approach helping some of the most vulnerable people coming into the country to gain a foothold in a new and more civilised life.

Simon Shreeve, service manager for the People from Abroad Team, said: “It’s an amazing achievement for the team to win this award. We are a tiny team covering a very large county, working with lots of people in the community to make a positive difference. The award is a tribute to everyone’s efforts, not just our team.”

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “The People from Abroad team is a great example of innovative social work in the heart of the community and this award is a ringing endorsement of their efforts.

“Many congratulations to our winners and all our nominees for their hard work and for the outstanding work they do with some of Norfolk’s most vulnerable people.”

Norfolk County Council voted in July 2016 to accept 50 vulnerable Syrian refugees through the government’s resettlement scheme, which set a target to offer sanctuary to 20,000 people fleeing civil war over five years.

They have been housed in the Greater Norwich area and, in the summer, it was agreed that a further one hundred refugees should be similarly welcomed.

The refugees are not put into council homes, but are housed through the private sector leasing scheme.

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