A Batley social care worker nicknamed ‘Sir Saj’ is celebrating after being shortlisted for two national awards.

Saj Daji, a team leader for adult health and social care charity Making Space, is in the running for two Great British Care Awards. His manager says he sees his work as a vocation, not a job, and that he is guided by his Muslim faith.

Saj, 49, who has 20 years of experience in social care, manages three local services: Kirklees Floating Support (part of Kirklees Better Outcomes Partnership or KBOP), Kirklees Supported Housing and Leeds Supported Housing in Hunslet.

The proud father of six has been shortlisted for the Housing with Care Award and the Social Care Covid Hero Award.

Meanwhile, Debra Hanaran, who is one of Saj’s team members, has also been shortlisted for a Great British Care Award.

In May, Saj was chosen to join a Zoom call with Prince William to speak about his team’s experiences in supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

HRH wanted to find out directly from those on the frontline how their experience of working in social care had altered. Saj told the Duke that flexibility was key to keeping services running, whilst also protecting his team, one of whom was shielding.

Steph Johansen, Making Space regional head of operations and Saj’s line manager said, “Everyone, staff and tenants alike, adores Saj. He’s great at having a giggle – for instance, we all call him Sir Saj since his call with the Prince – but his staff also know when it’s time to be serious and there’s work to be done”.

Johansen said Saj is a practicing Muslim and one can see how his faith guides his work. His respect for everyone he meets is second-to-none.

“He never turns off; there is no out-of-hours for Saj. Supported housing is his vocation. He very much deserves these shortlistings and we are rooting for him,” Johansen added.

Saj will find out if he has won at a gala awards evening at The Railway Museum in York on Thursday 15 April 2021.

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