An ‘inspirational’ social worker has been honoured by his peers at a major national awards ceremony for a lifetime of work for people with disabilities.
Retired Ian Baker devoted most of his professional career to social work and specifically to campaigning for those with physical disabilities in Newark and Bassetlaw.
He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the prestigious Social Worker of the Year Awards at the House of Lords on Friday 16th December.
The award caps a monumental 12 months for Ian, in which he has also successfully fought cancer twice, having been diagnosed just before Christmas 2010.
He said: “It is fantastic to have won the award but what I’ve achieved has very much been down to a team effort and I’m hugely grateful for all the great support I’ve received over the years from the colleagues and families I’ve worked with.”
“For me personally it’s been a tough 12 months of struggle but beating cancer and now being recognised in this way is a fantastic end to a difficult year.”
As Manager of the Physical Disability Team in Bassetlaw and Newark for Notts County Council, he gained the respect of service users, carers and team members alike.
He worked tirelessly and creatively to set up complex care packages for profoundly disabled people, giving them choice, flexibility and control.
Described by colleagues as ‘an inspirational leader’, he always put the service user at the heart of his practice and pioneered the use of Direct Payments.
Towards the end of his career at the council, Ian ensured that his legacy would live on by bringing his considerable practical experience to a team brought together to develop new ways of working in adult social care.
The judges were impressed not only by the length of Ian’s career in social work and the excellence of his work and vision, but also because of his dedication to people with physical disabilities and his determination to get the best possible outcomes for them.
Paying tribute to Ian’s success, David Pearson, Corporate Director for Adult Social Care, Health and Public Protection at Notts County Council said: “Like many colleagues I was inspired by the professionalism and dedication Ian showed towards his service users.”
“His approach was to tirelessly work on behalf of people with physical disabilities, looking at ways to make sure they could make choices about their own care and how their needs were met.”
Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Kevin Rostance added: “Ian changed people’s lives and through his work in establishing new ways of working he has ensured that his efforts will continue to benefit thousands of people in Nottinghamshire for years to come.”