A city council worker who supports young people involved in serious offending or at risk of being taken into care has become the first in the UK to receive a prestigious international award.

Fuzi Bradshaw is one of only a select few to be presented with the Sustained Excellence Award (ESSY) for the way he helps young people and their families in Nottingham.

Presented by MST Services, the award recognises creative, out-of-the-box thinking, persistence and dedication to accomplish positive outcomes for young people and their families.

Fuzi, a Multisystemic Therapist (MST) for Nottingham City Council, helps young people and families with complex clinical, social and educational problems. He supports families to rebuild relationships and for young people to re-engage in social activities, schools and within their communities.

The ESSY Awards are based on feedback from the families about their experience with MST and are presented to those therapists who rank in the top one per cent among their peers around the world.

Fuzi collected the award at a ceremony at the MST International Conference in Charleston, South Carolina, in March.

He said: “It has been an honour to win such an award and get recognised in the top one per cent among my peers in the MST community worldwide. To be recognised for the work that myself and the rest of my MST team do is incredible; going to America for the MST international conference to collect the award was the icing on the cake!

“It was an amazing experience meeting other therapists from all around the world and receiving the actual award from one of the developers of the MST model Dr Scott Hengeller.”

He added: “I really enjoy my role as an MST therapist. Most of the cases referred to our team are at a crisis point when we start to work together. This can be very challenging at times, but having the ability to offer an intensive service for families, seeing them three or four times a week and sometimes daily really makes a difference.

“As a therapist I see what impact the MST treatment model has by working collaboratively and systemically with families. It is rewarding to see families shift and function better by the end of the MST treatment.”

Cllr David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years at Nottingham City Council, said: “I’m incredibly proud of Fuzi and the recognition he has received for his work in Nottingham to ensure young people and their families get the best possible support.

“I’m especially proud that the award is based on feedback from the families he has worked with – there can be no higher praise for anyone involved in supporting young people in our city.”

MST is an intensive family and community-based intervention that targets the multiple causes of serious antisocial behaviour in young people. During the assessment and treatment process a therapist works with the young person, their family, peers, school and community.

Therapists undertake weekly group supervisions and are available to families on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Therapists are able to work intensively with families for around three to five months.

Cllr Mellen added: “To be the first in the country to receive this award shows how committed we are in Nottingham to giving our young people the best possible support.

“By using Multisystemic Therapy, Fuzi ensures that the problems of young people are treated holistically – everything in their lives is looked at together, rather than trying to tackle one issue in isolation. It’s an approach that is working well for our families.”

Fuzi has worked for the MST team at the City Council for almost three years.

MST Manager Donna Stenton-Groves said: “Fuzi is a highly-dedicated therapist and has been able to engage with families that often face many complex barriers in their capacity to engage with services.

“Fuzi never gives up and tries to understand what those barriers are and collaboratively finds ways to move beyond or around barriers. Many families have fed back that they feel Fuzi understands the difficulties they are facing and that he works tirelessly to provide interventions with the family.”

Fuzi also took part in a short film to promote MST nationally alongside other colleagues and families from Nottingham. It can be seen at https://www.mstuk.org/

He is seen receiving the ESSY Award from Dr Scott Hengeller.