Carole Burgoyne, Plymouth City Council’s Strategic Director for People, has been awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Carole has been awarded the honour for Services to Children and Young People after serving nearly 40 years of service in local government, in roles covering many areas of the City Council’s work and playing a central role in the transformation of Council services and improvements in performance.
As Strategic Director for People she is currently responsible for a department that oversees Integrated Commissioning and Adult Social Care, Children, Young People and Families, Education, Participation and Skills and Community Connections.
She has worked with partners to spearhead a transformation of social care in Plymouth, with the city delivering a pioneering project to integrate of health and social care services, combining an overall budget of £462 million.
This has put improving services and outcomes for users of health and care services at the heart of everything the teams do and has led to users receiving joined-up services focused on their personal needs.
Carole was born in Plymouth and has stayed in the city throughout her career.
She attended Oxford Street Primary (now Pilgrim) and Plymouth High School for Girls, where she was head girl. She showed an interest in care services from an early age, working for more than 15 years as a voluntary youth worker and leader in a number of youth clubs including PHAB – Physical Handicap/Able Bodied.
Carole’s first job from school was in the DHSS’ Durley House working on supplementary benefits, where her interest in social work was ignited. After qualifying as a social worker at Plymouth Polytechnic, she worked as a social worker in Plymouth for Devon County Council. She played a leading role in moving social care services to the City Council when it became a unitary authority in 1998.
Carole has worked in a range of senior management positions at the City Council, including Personnel Manager for social services, Head of Performance and Policy, Assistant Chief Executive and Director of Community Services. This has seen her lead areas ranging from ICT to refuse collection.
She was the senior officer responsible for the development of the £46 million Plymouth Life Centre and has played a leading role in the city’s response to a number of emergencies.
Carole is a member of the Health and Wellbeing Board, Western Locality CCG Board, STP Programme Board and chair the Children and Young People’s Partnership and Plymouth and Western Integrated Commissioning Board.
Carole has been married to her husband Paul for 42 years and has two sons and daughters-in-law, Philip and Jodie, and Peter and Charlotte, and four grandchildren.
Carole said: “This came as a huge surprise and couldn’t quite believe it was true. I’m shocked but also very flattered. I feel it reflects the work of all my colleagues, not just what I do. I couldn’t do any of this without the fantastic staff we have here and all the other partners who help support children and young people in Plymouth, including everyone from foster carers to schools, the police and colleagues in the health the voluntary and community sectors.
“I have also had a huge amount of support from my family and I couldn’t have done any of this without them.
“I feel very privileged to have been able to play a role in so many areas of work in my home city over the years, including the building of the Plymouth Life Centre and the integration of health and social care services.
“I have worked in a number of different roles but much of my career has been spent in social care and children’s services. I have always been interested in working with children and young people and feel that social work is a great career. It can be very tough but my experience is that it can give you the satisfaction that you are making a positive difference to people’s lives. I would encourage young people to consider it and to take every opportunity they can.”
Council leader Ian Bowyer said: “We are all delighted for Carole and she absolutely deserves this honour for the outstanding work she has done for children and young people in Plymouth and the first class public service she has given to her home city over the years.
“Carole is Plymouth through and through and during her career has made a positive impact on the lives of very many people. She has forged strong partnerships across the city which has helped us join up services for Plymouth residents in a way that at one time would have seemed impossible. She is a real inspiration to young women thinking of making their career in the city.
“Recognition for Carole in the Queen’s birthday honours is richly deserved. I am thrilled for her.”