SOCIAL KING: Huntingdon social worker Janet King has been given a national award for her outstanding work.

She was nominated for the UNISON-run awards by her colleague Robert Turner who described Janet as an "inspiration, not only to myself, but also to the team around her, who call upon her indepth knowledge on a daily basis".

Janet, who has worked in social care since 1976, works for Cambridgeshire's Huntingdon disabled children's team and is largely responsible for managing some of the team's most difficult cases.

During her work Janet opened a specialist therapeutic residential resource for children who had experienced abuse, a scheme which expanded to six units across the south east employing over 90 staff, including therapists and residential social workers.

Janey, who is god mother to two small children whose parents she met at the first residential unit where she worked in 1976, said: "It is an undeniably tough job. It is physically, mentally and emotionally draining. But you only have to remember how privileged you are to have been part of so many people's lives and to have witnessed how your efforts have helped them. Most importantly I get to do a job I am passionate about."

She added: "The job has got more challenging recently, as understaffing, cuts in services and resources and having large caseloads puts restrictions on the quality of services you can provide."

Dave Prentis, UNISON general secretary, said: "We are delighted to be able to award Janet for her outstanding work. Her lifelong achievements and relationships she has built up are a testament to what good social work can achieve. Her colleagues' high praise of her ability to cope under pressure, her selfless attitude to her work, and her incredibly supportive nature are an inspiration."