Talk & Travels
Well, another chair’s blog post is well overdue, and all I can plead by way of an excuse for its recent prolonged absence is busyness, involving travels to Palestine, Edinburgh, Poland and Wolverhampton, among other places. Most of these trips deserve a blog post in their own right, and I should certainly like to write about the first Palestinian International Social Work Conference, at which I spoke as BASW chair alongside Rory Truell, the secretary-general of the International Federation of Social Workers. Pending a report of my own, you can read about it on IFSW’s website here. The visit to Łódź in Poland was in connection with my day job, the third time I have delivered a solution-focused training course in the “Polish Manchester”, and my second course in Poland this year. The solution-focused approach is growing fast in Eastern Europe, where there is a great appetite for training in it. I return to Russia in early February, to St Petersburg, and there is interest in Romania too.
The trips to Edinburgh and Wolverhampton were both BASW-related, as I attended a SASW committee meeting at the beginning of December, and spent time with Trisha and Tim in the Scotland office, and later joined with the Black Country branch at one of their meetings in the Great Western pub by Wolverhampton railway station. (An excellent venue!) It was uplifting on both occasions to spend time with BASW members who are active at local and national levels. I suspect the energetic discussions in the meetings in the city of the Scottish Enlightenment were emblematic of the continuing referendum-inspired disputations and debates pulsing through Scotland, and it is good to think that these pulses could beat as strongly throughout the whole of BASW. They were pretty strong in the Great Western, where I enjoyed and benefited from talking to such stalwart members as there are in the Black Country branch. I have been inspired by their persistence in calling for a vision for the future of BASW as a member-led organisation, and discussions of this will be a feature of the 2015 AGM on 29 April. I have mentioned before that there will be a consultation with members on this prior to the AGM, and please rest assured that this will be happening soon.
Finally, I have recently been informed that one of the jobs of the Chair each year is to write a short report for the BASW Annual Report looking back at achievements over the past 12 months. It has struck me that rather than the Chair telling the members of BASW what its achievements have been, if we are to be a member-led organisation I should perhaps be asking members to tell me! So please do – what do you think BASW’s main achievements - in the year ending 30 September 2014 apparently – have been? What has BASW done that has made you proud to be a member? You could let me and others know by responding underneath this post, or you could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do hurry though, as I need to have my report in by Monday, 5th January.
Other than that, it only remains for me to wish you all a pleasant and peaceful festive season and a happy new year.