Saj Daji, 49, is a team leader for adult health and social care charity Making Space and has 20 years’ experience in social care.
As part of his role, he manages 11 workers across four local Making Space services: Floating Support Service, which is part of the wider Kirklees Better Outcomes Partnership; Kirklees Supported Housing; Huddersfield Road Young Person’s Supported Housing Service in Holmfirth; and Leeds Supported Housing in Hunslet.
The proud father of six won The Housing With Care Award in the Yorkshire and Humber region, an award that recognises an individual providing person-centred services to vulnerable people.
In addition to the regular help the four services offer, during the pandemic Saj’s team also made referrals for food parcel drop-offs and taught the people they support how to shop online and use technology to keep in touch with their loved ones.
He was nicknamed “Sir Saj” by the people he supports following a Zoom call he had with Prince William in May 2020, to talk about his team’s experiences in supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.
He was one of five support workers invited to join a Zoom call with the Duke.
He was also shortlisted for the Social Care Covid Hero Award.
Judges’ comments at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Railway Museum in York, included: “We felt the person-centred quality shone through and we were truly moved and felt privileged to have spoken with him and heard about the service provided by him and his team.”
According to the judges, they were inspired by him and his passion from the outset.
His line manager, Steph Johansen, said: “Saj is extremely passionate about providing outstanding care and support that meets the individual needs of the people we support.
“It’s an honour that Saj has been recognised for the work he does.
“We are all very proud of what he has achieved with his hard work and dedication. He is a true winner.”
Saj will now go on to the national finals, taking place at the ICC in Birmingham in September, hoping to win the UK-wide award.