When she started her career as an adult social worker four decades ago, Jane Goldingham had no idea one day it would lead to an invitation to Buckingham Palace.

Until her retirement last year, Jane spent 10 years with the county council, most recently as principal social worker in our adult social care department.

As chair of the Principal Social Workers Network for the South East, she played a leading role in raising awareness and improving the perception of social work and driving up recruitment.

Tireless work

Jane’s tireless work was recognised when she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours List, and she will be heading to the Palace later this year to receive her award.

She said: “I was completely thrown – the letter came out of the blue and I had no idea it was coming. I’m still reeling from disbelief, but I feel quite humbled.

“I’ve had quite a lot of really nice comments from people I’ve worked with over the years who’ve seen my name on the honours list.

“All my working life has been about adult social work and it’s a huge honour to be recognised, to feel the work I’ve done has had some impact, and it’s also great for the profession to get some positive press.”

Improving lives

You might associate social work with support for children, but our adult social workers do an amazing job helping to improve the lives of vulnerable adults, including older people and those with mental health issues or disabilities.

Keith Hinkley, county council director of adult social care, said: “Adult social work is a very rewarding career in which you can make a real difference to people’s lives.

“Social workers receive a lot of support and training to help them support people to live as independently as possible, with dignity and to maintain good health and wellbeing.”

Visit our website to find out more about current adult social work vacancies with the county council.