University Lecturer shortlisted for top national award

We're delighted to announce that Lynda Hughes has been shortlisted for a prestigious award in recognition of her extraordinary practice.

Lynda Hughes

The University of Sheffield is proud to announce that Lynda Hughes has been selected as a finalist for University Social Work Lecturer of the Year in the national Social Worker of the Year Awards 2023. 

Lynda, a University Teacher in Social Work, joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2016 after many years in frontline social work practice. Initially involved in teaching as a Social Work Practice Consultant, she subsequently led the BA Social Work Degree Apprenticeship Programme for four years.  She has always had a strong commitment to the development and support of social workers and ensuring that practice and academia are informed by and remain relevant to each other is something she is passionate about.  

Lynda has been nominated for this prestigious award in recognition of her work with Sheffield City Council’s Adult Social Care Service on an ambitious project to embed critically reflective supervision across the service. Lynda’s collaboration with council workforce development colleagues has involved the development of a ‘train the trainer’ model using best evidence, tools and techniques to help social work managers alter the way they deliver supervision to their staff. Having worked with over 30 managers so far, early indications are that this transformative approach to supervision is benefitting individual practitioners and having a positive impact on the overall service in terms of reduced staff absences, continuous learning, career development and an improved use of research and knowledge.   

Supported by Essex County Council, the Award is open to Lecturers of Social Work at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) who provide outstanding and effective social work education for their students.

Peter Hay CBE, Chair of the Social Work Awards, said: 

This year we received the most entries ever which goes to show organisations and individuals are keen to shine a light on the inspirational achievements of an often-overlooked profession. We would like to thank all those who took the time to nominate a friend, colleague, or team for an award this year. To our finalists, we’d like to say congratulations! Being nominated for a national award, whilst supporting others during very challenging times, is a remarkable achievement of which you should be very proud.

Social Worker of the Year Awards Logo

This nomination is a fitting tribute to Lynda's outstanding contribution to our social work programmes, and to the training of social workers in our city region. It recognises Lynda's dedication to providing a supportive and engaging learning environment for our students, particularly for our apprenticeship programme, and the high regard she is held in by colleagues and students.

Professor Sarah Neal

Head of the Department of Sociological Studies

As one of five finalists in the University Lecturer of the Year category, Lynda has been invited to a special awards ceremony in London in November where the overall winner will be announced. We wish her luck. 

For more information about the awards, please visit

Notes to editors:

About the Social Work Awards

1) The Social Work Awards Ltd is a charitable organisation seeking to improve the awareness, understanding and reputation of the social care sector. The registered charity number is 1144458

2) The Board of Trustees is made up of: Peter Hay CBE (Chair), Ana Popovici (Director of Children's Services, London Borough of Wandsworth), Rob Mitchell MBE (Principal Social Worker, Bradford Council), Gary Spencer-Humphrey (Team Manager, Southampton City Council), Brian Mitchell (Social Work Lecturer, University of Bradford), Kelly Centro (Student Social Worker), Sherry Malik (Non-executive Director, Dimensions UK) and Clenton Farquharson MBE (Chair of the Think Local Act Personal partnership and Quality Matters).

3) The charity is supported by four patrons – Tim Loughton MP, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Baroness Valerie Howarth OBE and Lorraine Pascale.

4) The awards are open to qualified practitioners throughout England with a range of individual and team categories for those working in both children’s and adult departments.

5) For more information about the Social Work Awards, visit   

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

International scholarships

We offer a generous package of financial support for international students, including undergraduate and postgraduate taught scholarships towards the annual tuition fee. Applications are open for existing offer holders.