Chair's Blog


The BASW Trinity

BASW is a complicated organisation, in fact it’s even more complicated than I thought!

I am having a rest and, I think, a well-earned glass of wine, having spent the day at my first Advisory Group meeting, getting to grips with what is becoming a trinity of connected organisations in one, BASW, SWU and the BASW Trust. The Advisory Group has grown out of the bilateral meetings between the honorary officers of BASW (chair, vice-chair and chair of the Finance & Human Resources committee) and of SWU (president, vice-president and treasurer), by adding in trustees of the emerging BASW Trust, or at least, that will be the case when this last group starts to come together.

Today saw the welcome return to Kent Street of Fran Fuller, no longer chair, but now a trustee – or will be, as the Trust develops and is established – to join Luke and myself from BASW Council (Maggie, the vice-chair, from Scotland, had stayed up there as there was something else going on) and Dave and Gerry from the SWU Exec.

One of my more-experienced-in-BASW colleagues (they all are) said at some point that after three years of this pioneering combination of a professional association and trade union, he still found it hard to understand the relationship, so how must those members ‘outside the room’ find it? Indeed, and that’s where I was until recently, and having stepped inside I can see it will take a while to get the hang of it.

But perhaps that puts me in a good position to explain a little about these workings, for those of you interested in such things – by writing posts reflecting my own growing understanding (sometimes misunderstanding, probably).

The BASW Trust is something different to the Social Workers’ Educational Trust and the Social Workers' Benevolent Trust, though the first of these will be coming under the BASW Trust’s umbrella. It will also oversee the new International Development Fund, voted for at June’s AGM. And, as a charity able to receive grants, it will be able to be proactive in developing BASW’s educational work – where Fran will be well placed to play a leading role.

So, complicated, yes (this is why there is an advisory group by the way – three organisations in one? They’d (we’d) better all talk to each other). And hugely promising and exciting too.

Before I sign off - we heard today about plans being made by BASW and SWU to mobilise a mass turn-out of members for the march against austerity on Saturday 18 October – more info to follow, but do put the date in your diary.


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