Alexis Jay wins Lifetime Achievement gong at Holyrood's Scottish Public Service Awards
Professor Alexis Jay has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Holyrood Communications’ annual Scottish Public Service Awards.
Held in the Garden Lobby of the Scottish Parliament last night, the event was opened by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the awards were presented by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Presiding Officer Alison Johnstone.
Run in partnership with the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government since 2014, the event recognises the rich and unique diversity of public life in Scotland and the vital relationships that cut across departmental, geographic and institutional boundaries.
Jay, who is Scotland’s former Chief Social Work Inspector, was recognised for a career that has taken in stints as president of the Association of Directors of Social Work in Scotland and Director of Social Work and Housing in West Dunbartonshire Council.
She is currently a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde and came to wider UK prominence in 2013 when she was appointed to lead the inquiry into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham. She recently chaired the UK Government’s seven-year-long inquiry into child sexual abuse, which reported earlier this year.
She said she was “hugely honoured” to receive the award.
“Since I first became a social worker in Glasgow in 1975, everything I have learned and experienced in my working life has been from within the fine Scottish tradition of public service – in local government, in the third sector and in the Scottish Government,” she said.
“But nobody does this work alone, and it has also been a privilege and a pleasure to work with so many committed and skilled people over so years.”
Other winners included a trauma-informed approach to sexual assault created by the NHS Sexual Assault Response Coordination Service Policy Unit of the Scottish Government and a campaign aimed to increase awareness of drug-related deaths from the Scottish Drugs Forum.
Holyrood Communications managing director Mandy Rhodes, who chaired the judging panel, said: “The quality and quantity of nominations for this year’s awards was exceptionally high and really gave the judging panel a tough time.
“Well done to all the projects that entered and congratulations to the winners, richly deserved.”
The Project Management Award sponsored by the Project Management Institute went to NHS Scotland and Scottish Government National Team for the Scotland’s Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, which delivered 12.6 million vaccinations.
Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care was awarded the Voluntary Sector Partnership Award in association with SCVO for their initiative ‘Improving Experiences of Living with Serious Illness, Caring, Dying and Grieving’.
The project brought together over 100 partners from across Scotland, within the statutory, third sectors and independent sectors, including NHS Boards, hospices, HSCPs, charities, professional associations, social care and community groups to make positive changed in what is a hard to talk about subject.
A now widely adopted initiative from the Digital Health & Care Innovation Centre was awarded the Digital Public Services Award in association with Leidos. The Right Decision Service for Scotland’s Health and Social Care helps patients efficiently triage in urgent care, reduces medicine-related harm and aids citizen self-management of long-term conditions.
Social Security Scotland was awarded the Commercial Partnership Award for its Best Start Foods programme, which saw it partner with retailers Iceland, Scotmid/Co-op and ASDA to drive awareness of pre-paid cards that support low-income families with the cost of buying healthy food while also removing the stigma of using food vouchers.
Hannah Beaton-Hawryluk won the Leadership Award for the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain’s response to the current crisis in Ukraine with professionalism, commitment and a view to honouring the organisation’s founders.
The City of Edinburgh Council was also honoured for its work in response to the Ukraine crisis, winning the Community Award for Edinburgh Ukraine Support, which ensures that the 7,500 Ukrainians arriving via Edinburgh Airport are well supported with their welfare, cultural and informational needs.
Edinburgh College was recognised for its Emerging Leaders training programme, which is focused on ensuring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees within the Scottish Parliament achieve their full potential.
The Sustainability Award went to East Ayrshire Council for the Local Authority Fresh and Organic Food Network, which supports community wealth building, the circular economy and creating jobs for local people.