Former head of Birmingham’s social services to receive top university honour

Peter Hay

The former head of Birmingham’s social services is to receive a top university honour this month in recognition of his dedication to equality and social justice.

Peter Hay CBE, will be given an Honorary Doctorate by Birmingham City University, to mark his longstanding commitment to improving the quality of life for second city residents and strengthening people’s voices.

Having trained as a social worker, Hay spent a long career working in social services in both Grimsby and Birmingham, and also served as President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

His work has been renowned for identifying how the challenges and opportunities associated with age, disability and mental health make social care a major contributor to addressing inequalities in our communities.

Having joined Birmingham City Council in 2003, Hay was credited with helping its children’s services gain a star rating in the 2005 national assessment, and also played a central role in helping its adult’s services secure a three-star rating.

After spending 14 years with the local authority he formally retired from his role as the Council’s Strategic Director for People in 2017.

Speaking ahead of receiving his Honorary Doctorate Peter Hay said: “It was an unexpected honour to be recognised in this way by the University in our home city.

“As the first recipient from a social work background, I will continue to do all I can to show the contribution that great social care makes to people lives.”

Hay will be awarded his accolade on Thursday 10 January 2019, in a ceremony held at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall alongside students graduating from the University’s Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences.

Since retiring from his position with Birmingham City Council, Hay has a range of different roles across social care, housing and wellbeing and continues to pursue his passion for social justice.

His roles include being the Chair of social enterprise Turning Point and a member of the Board of the newly formed Anchor Hanover housing and care services.

He also takes in a range of coaching assignments including working with the Firstline programme for developing managers in children’s services.