Goldie backs Social Worker campaign

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The Independent Online

Musician and actor Goldie paid tribute today to the social workers who helped him as a young man as he backed a national campaign to improve the image of the profession and attract more people to it.

The star, who has appeared in EastEnders and several reality television shows, said he spent most of his life until he was 18 with social workers.

He told BBC News: "I wouldn't be where I am now without a lot of the help from social workers because I was this really frustrated young child who didn't have anyone to communicate with.

"I think that for me, having a social worker there on a regular basis kind of got me out of my shell a little bit."

He is one of several celebrities featured in a TV campaign designed to raise the profile of social work.

Others include actress and fashion designer Sadie Frost, former EastEnders star Michelle Ryan, Emilia Fox, of Silent Witness fame, Skins star Nicholas Holt and Joanna Page, who plays Stacey in the hit TV series Gavin And Stacey.

Each actor will play the role of a child or adult in need of support of a social worker.

The Help Give Them A Voice campaign comes amid fears that the furore over the death of Baby P has discouraged people from choosing social work as a career.

Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls said one of the problems the Government faced was people leaving the profession after a few years.

He said: "We're saying with this campaign, it's a great profession, it's a hard profession but it's so rewarding.

"If you're trained, come back and if you're thinking about it, think of taking up a social work career because it transforms lives."

Mr Balls said £100 million is being invested to recruit new social workers and persuade former social workers to return to the job.

Oscar-nominated actress Samantha Morton is also backing the campaign, which aims to recruit more than 5,000 social workers for vulnerable children, adults and families.

Morton, who was looked after in care in Nottingham as a child, said: "My early life from infancy to leaving home at 16 was spent in care. I had some wonderful social workers who supported me and helped me achieve my goals in life.

"That's why it's important to recruit more social workers.

"There are many people out there, whether they be children, families, vulnerable adults, even the aged, who need a social worker.

I want to enable them to have the support they need. Help us to help them, and maybe one day they may help you."