A Central Bedfordshire Council officer given an MBE for her services to social work and social work education has said she feels “honoured” to have received the award.

Louise Purser Central Bedfordshire MBE
Louise Purser in her role as Brownie Guide Leader

Louise Purser was named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2019 for her 38-year career in local government with children and young people, including her council role assessing newly qualified social workers for the council, plusvolunteering as a girl guide leader and as a carer for children with disabilities.

For more than 20 years Louise has been actively involved in supporting social work students as a practice educator as part of a previous role as a strategic lead for the social work and social care workforce.

Louise joined Central Bedfordshire Council five years ago and has been instrumental in the success of The Academy’s Assessed and Supported Year In Employment (ASYE) for newly qualified children’s social workers.

Her contribution to the quality of student and newly qualified social worker development has resulted in significant reductions in social worker vacancy rates and a major increase in the number of applications to join the Central Bedfordshire Council ASYE programme. 

Louise was previously acknowledged for her contribution to social work in 2016, when she received a Silver Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 national Social Worker of The Year Awards. She is also the current chair of the British Association of Social Workers England Professional Capabilities and Development Policy, Practice and Education Group.

Louise said: “I feel honoured to be nominated for the MBE and for my roles as a social worker and volunteer as a Brownie guide leader, supported by fantastic guide leaders, district commissioners and leaders and as a carer for children with disabilities to be recognised.

“My journey in social work has enabled me to work with families using a systemic approach, empowering them to make changes within their lives. I have supported social work students through being a practice educator and being a strategic lead for the social work and social care workforce, developing their skills and knowledge.

“In the past five years I’ve worked for Central Bedfordshire Council. Changing my role to assess newly qualified social workers has given me the opportunity to share my passion, commitment and many years of experience to develop social workers to make a difference to the work they do with children and young people.”

Full List of Bedfordshire Recipients

New Year’s Honours List 2019

HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for 2019 has been announced and includes fifteen Bedfordshire recipients. Those who have been successful are as follows:

Knight Bachelor

Alastair Nathan Cook CBE (Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Cricket

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

Alison Jane Brittain (Central Bedfordshire)
Chief Executive, Whitbread PLC
For services to Business

The Reverend Paula Anne Vennells (Bedford)
Chief Executive, Post Office Ltd
For services to the Post Office and to charity

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Sandra Olubunkunola Popoola (Luton)
Head of Capability Building and Resourcing, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
For services to Local Government and charity

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Michelle Dawn Dobson (Central Bedfordshire)
Director for Membership and Professional Development, Institution of Engineering and Technology
For services to Engineering

Richard Leon Gill (Central Bedfordshire)
Lately Police Officer, British Transport Police
For services to Policing

Monojaha Polly Islam (Luton)
For services to charity and the UK Bangladeshi community

David Leonard Morgan (Central Bedfordshire)
Volunteer Case Worker for the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Rural Support Group
For services to Vulnerable People

Claire Suzanne Paul (Bedford)
Director, Leadership Development and New Talent, BBC
For services to Apprenticeships and Education

Louise Purser (Luton)
ASYE Practice Assessor, Central Bedfordshire Council and Volunteer, British Association of Social Workers and Learn to Care
For services to Children’s Social Care

Medal of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Ellen Dorothy Bassett (Central Bedfordshire)
For services to Sport and the community in Westoning, Bedfordshire

Nerys Bell (Central Bedfordshire)
HIVE Information Officer, RAF Henlow
For services to RAF Personnel and their Families

Richard Philip Moore (Central Bedfordshire)
Police Constable, Metropolitan Police Service
For services to Policing

Anthony Talbot (Luton)
For services to Sport and the community in Luton

Edward Walter Wing (Central Bedfordshire)
Retained Watch Commander, Biggleswade Fire Service.
For services to the Fire and Rescue Service

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis said “Once again, I am absolutely delighted so see so many people from Bedfordshire recognised for their enormous contribution to, not only the county, but also the region and the country. Their unfailing dedication to helping ensure our communities are supported is a true testament to their commitment and each of them deserves this recognition. I look forward to meeting them to hear more about their achievements.”