SPA Awards 2011

The 2011 Social Policy Association Awards Ceremony was held during the Association’s Annual Conference, at the University of Lincoln 4-6th July 2011. The awards, sponsored by Cambridge University Press and The Policy Press, were presented by the SPA President, the Financial Times journalist Nick Timmins.

The 2011 winners were: Professor Jane Lewis (Chair in Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science) won the Lifetime Achievement Award; Simon Duffy (Director of the Centre for Welfare Reform) and Dexter Whitfield (Director of the European Services Strategy Unit at the University of Adelaide) won Outstanding Contribution from a Non-Academic. Congratulations to our winners and to all those nominated.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Jane LewisThe Lifetime Achievement Award – granted to Professor Jane Lewis – is given to Association members the judges feel have made persistent contributions to research and organisation, have an international reputation, have contributed to professional bodies and associations, have made an impact on political process or discourse, and have been recognised in both academic and non-academic circles. Jane’s award marks her work as an eminent social policy academic, and particularly her development of the subject in the voluntary sector, European social policy, family policy, care, childcare and gender. Her ground-breaking article ‘Gender and the Development of Welfare Regimes’, has been credited with transforming the analysis of welfare regimes.

On receiving her award she told delegates: ‘I care deeply about social policy as a subject within our universities. The rationale for social policy departments rests in large measure on the capacity of its academic staff to look across different research areas, which are becoming ever more specialised. The situation we find ourselves in demands ever more imaginative and brave researchers who are prepared to try to put the pieces together.’

The Award for Outstanding Contribution from a Non-Academic

Awarded to Simon Duffy and Dexter Whitfield. Awards for Outstanding Contribution from a Non-Academic are made to individuals or organisations adjudged to have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of social policy – either through campaigning, lobbying, service provision, fundraising, journalism, funding of research, dissemination of research or other non-academic means.

simon_duffySimon’s award recognises his contribution to the creation of personal budgets and their introduction in the contexts of adult social care, health care and children’s services; and his recent work as lead coordinator of the 2011 Campaign for a Fair Society which opposes the Coalition Government’s cuts in funding for disabled people.

He commented: “It is a great honour to get this recognition from the SPA. Individual budgets are one important tool for reform of the current welfare state. It is vital that we rebuild the welfare system so that the disabled people, the poor, women and families get fairer treatment and opportunities for citizenship. It is exciting that the academic community has been open to explore some of these new approaches.”

Dexter WhitfieldDexter’s award celebrates his work in campaigning, research and advocacy for fairer UK state services over 40 years and, in particular, his defence of welfare services against privatisation and marketisation.

Accepting the award, he commented: ‘I have always believed in the importance of a methodology that combines action research, strategy development, alternative policies and trade union and community organising. The recent research and exposure of PFI equity profits and the offshoring of the ownership of schools and hospitals to tax havens is a good example of this approach. The need for this four-part methodology is greater than ever given the economic and financial crisis and the planned transformation of public services and the welfare state.’