It’s the taking part that counts


Over the last month we have been busy promoting the Scottish Social Services Awards (SSSA) and encouraging people to enter. With less than a week to go the final countdown is now on.

For the social services sector awards are extremely important. They recognise those individuals carrying out life changing work and supporting vulnerable people in our society.

In a sector where negative, often heart-rending media reports dominate over the positive stories, sharing and celebrating success is essential. And for some projects it can help build the case to attract and secure continued funding.

Having been involved in setting up the awards for the Scottish Social Services Strategic Forum, I fully appreciate how invaluable they are. It is an opportunity not only to share the heart-warming success stories, but also offer a personal reward and recognition for social service workers and the people they support.

Working in the PR industry we expect that practitioners have a good understanding of the benefits of awards – in promoting their achievements, and those of their clients. And, as a former CIPR judge I have seen first-hand the work and care that goes into a brilliant award entry.

Yet, as we have been sending final calls for SSSA and receiving reminders from the PRCA to enter our own industry awards, it struck me how much it is not front of mind for many. There always seems to be a last minute rush to ‘cobble something together’ or a deluge of entries who finally thought ‘maybe we should go for it’. Whether this is down to a cultural trait – that we don’t like to boast – or just bad planning, we could all do more to shout about our success.

Awards are not just about celebrating the best of the best. They are also about taking the time to reflect on the work that we are doing and acknowledge that it is worthwhile. It’s an opportunity to to learn from what we do and to take stock and question how we can do things better in the future or to learn and be inspired by others. In this respect, it really is the taking part that counts!


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