TRIBUTES have been paid to a member of the social work team at the South Eastern Health Trust who has retired after 36 years.

Elaine Somerville, one of the social work assistant directors, retired recently and said she ‘had a ball’ working in the Trust.

“Today was such a lovely farewell,” she said. ”I have worked with a range of people across many directorates within the Trust and everybody has worked so well with me in operational teams and support teams. 

“Family is very important to me, not only my personal family, but my work family. 

“People matter and relationships matter in the workplace. Everyone has supported me over the years and I cannot thank everyone enough.  I wish everyone every success for the future.”

Wishing Elaine well on her retirement, Lyn Preece, the Director of Children’s Services and Social Work, said Elaine has worked tirelessly to improve social work services locally and she has influenced good social work practice on a regional level. 

“Her dedication over her 36 year career is a source of inspiration to us all and she will be greatly missed by social work leads across the region,” she said.

“Elaine is more than a dedicated professional, she is a mentor, a friend to many people and a pillar of support to those fortunate enough to work alongside her. 

“She has wisdom, empathy and a willingness to listen which has left an indelible mark on all of us.”