New Year’s Honour For Voice Of Young People

Written by on 7th January 2021

A Rhondda Cynon Taf man who dedicated his entire working life to improving the lives of so many children and young people in South Wales has been awarded the Order of the British Empire in the 2021 New Year’s Honours List.

Giovanni Isingrini, who retired as Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and Group Director of Community and Children’s Services at the end of 2020, said he is delighted, overwhelmed and feels humbled by this recognition.

Mr Isingrini, 60, who has lived in Rhondda Cynon Taf all of his life, has been honoured in recognition of his services to Children in Wales.

The 2021 New Year’s Honours List recognises the work and achievements of a wide range of remarkable people across the United Kingdom, from all backgrounds.

Recipients from Wales this year include many people who have worked on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic, those in public service, familiar names from the world of sport and entertainment and volunteers who have given up their time to help others.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, said: “On behalf of all of our staff, I wish to pass on my congratulations to Gio on his OBE. He has had a distinguished career in Local Government spanning 42 years.

“He has always been passionate about the service area he represents and played a key role in the implementation of The Social Services and Wellbeing Act.

“We all wish him well for a safe, healthy and full retirement.”

Giovanni Isingrini, the youngest son of Italian parents who moved to Rhondda Cynon Taf from Northern Italy in the 1950s, was educated at Cwmlai Primary School, Tonyrefail, and Cardinal Newman RC School, Pontypridd.

He started his career in Local Government in 1978, working in the Treasurers Department at Mid Glamorgan County Council, moving on to the Council’s Social Services Department in the early 1990s.

Following Local Government reorganisation, he went on to become a Director at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council. His brother Antonio also worked in Local Government until his retirement in 2015.

Mr Isingrini landed what he describes as his ’dream job’ with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council in 2014, retiring in December 2020 after a distinguished 42 years in Local Government.

Until his retirement, he also held the post of joint chair of the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board, a statutory partnership in Wales which is made up of the agencies responsible for safeguarding children and adults at risk within their regions and ensuring that people of all ages are protected from abuse, neglect or other kinds of harm.

Mr Isingrini has also held the post of President of the Association of Directors of Social Services (ADSS) Cymru, a national leadership organisation for social services in Wales, representing the collective, authoritative voice of Directors of social services, heads of adult services, children’s services and business services on a range of national and regional issues of social care policy, practice and resourcing.

One of the highlights of his career he says was working with Welsh Government and other Directors to develop and implement The Social Services and Wellbeing Act.

Reflecting on his career in Local Government, Giovanni Isingrini, known as Gio, said: “I still cannot believe I have done anything worthy enough to be recognised in this way. I have loved every minute of my working life and am so grateful to all the people I have worked with for over four decades.

“There have been so many highlights along the way, but the pinnacle for me must be working for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. Being a local boy, this has meant so much for me. It was my dream job.”

Giovanni Isingrini is married to Anne, who retired from her post as Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Business Support Manager in 2020. The couple have two daughters Francesca and Pierra.

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