The six winners of the 2020 edition of the European Social Services Awards were announced at an online ceremony on 4 December.

The European Social Services Awards (ESSA) are a central initiative through which we celebrate excellence and best practice in social care and social services. The 2020 edition took place under the theme ‘Transforming Community Care’.


Highlights from the 2020 European Social Services Awards, in partnership with IBM Watson Health, Edenred, SAP public services and the European Commission. Introduction speeches were heard from Jane Dudman, Public Leadership Editor at The Guardian; Nicholas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights; Dragos Pislaru, Member of the European Parliament; and Christian Fillet, ESN Chair. Hear the reactions from the award winners, and congratulations from representatives of the partners.

Transforming Community Care

4th December 2020

In partnership with IBM Watson Health, Edenred, SAP and the European Commission

2020 Award Judges:

Aleksandra Posarac, Andreas Gollner, Andrzej Klimczuk, Ann Buchanan, Chiara Crepaldi, Christian Fillet, Delphine Lemarinier, Jose Manuel Fresno, Veerle Miranda.

Alfonso Lara-Montero, Chief Executive, European Social Network: The European Social Services Awards is an initiative of the European Social Network to recognise innovation and excellence in social services in Europe, shining a spotlight on successful new approaches and the extraordinary work done by public social services.

Jane Dudman, Public Leadership Editor, The Guardian: A staggering 25,000 peeople have voted over the past three weeks and it’s fabulous to see that level of interest in these vital services.

Nicholas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commissioner: Who better than your network to know that sharing is caring. These awards should finally be a moment for hope and optimism, a moment of hope for every man and woman for whom social work is a vocation and the public service, a calling.

Dragos Pislaru, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Europe Group: I am glad that the European Social Network provides this opportunity to award you, and I have to say that for me, regardless of the distinctions you receive, you are all winners.

Christian Fillet, ESN chair: The ESSA is pioneering in its ability to bring people together from across Europe to celebrate their achievements with their colleagues from across Europe and to celebrate the passion and dedication of those who work in social services.

Technology Tools Award Winner: ‘Social network for community service and care’

Jennick Scheerlinck, Hoplr, Belgium

‘I am speechless, this is a big achievement for our team and our partners.’

Outstanding Team Award Winner: ‘Digital Resources to Support the Social Care Workforce During Covid-19’

Catherine Maguire, Northern Ireland Social Care Council, UK

‘Wow! I can hardly believe that we won this award.’

Social Innovation Award Winner: ‘Fablabteka, digital fabrication laboratory for young people’

Bernardo Cerdan, Cultural Association la Kalle, Spain

‘Thanks to this Award, our voice is now heard all over Europe.’

Collaborative Practice Award Winner: ‘Housing Solidarity Network’

Nacho Hernandez, Fundacion Capaim, Spain

‘Thank you very much for this Award, we appreciate the European Social Network for this opportunity to share our project.’

Excellence Award Winner: ‘Ending rough sleeping during lockdown’

Lorraine McGrath, Simon Community Scotland, UK

‘We are beyond delighted to be receiving the Excellence Award.’

Research Project Award Winner: ‘Rethinking Social Services Research from Professionals: The Social Services Laboratories’

Monica Oltra Jarque, Vice-presidency and Department of Inclusive Policies and Equality, Spain

‘This is a great incentive for us to continue working on improving people’s living conditions especially for the most vulnerable people.’

Markus A. Werling, Chief Customer Officer, SAP Public Services: ‘We are honoured to partner with the European Social Network and its members now for may years.

Nathalie Renaudin, Public Affairs Director, Edenred: ‘Edenred has been a European Social Network partner for a long time now, almost 15 years. Collaboration is more than ever needed. Collaboration is more than ever needed.

David Nelson, Strategy and Market Development, IBM:

‘IBM is honoured to continue our long partnership with the European Social Network and to be a partner for the European Social Services Awards.’

Dragos Pislaru, Member of the European Parliament, Renew Group:

‘You are the real heroes of our society. My main message for you is: thank you!’

Thank you all for your participation!