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BASW membership renewals - Bridget Robb's message to all members

What a year! Last year BASW membership grew from our record-breaking membership of 16,000 to over 18,500, with record numbers in all countries. This is a massive thank you to you all ‐ existing and new members. Your membership enables the organisation to grow in influence and our ability to support you.

The increased membership income also enables us to freeze our subscription rates at the 2012/13 levels. This means a 0% rise for the year starting 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016.

It is increasingly important for social workers to understand international events and to make connections with colleagues and their work around the world. This year for the first time we will be collecting the £2 per member annual levy (16p per month) for the International Development Fund. This fund, agreed at the AGM in 2014, will be managed by the BASW Trust, and will allow us to offer grants to members for international work.

A new BASW Trust has been created and its trustees will be meeting in October to begin its work. This is an exciting development to focus our education and development agenda across the UK and the ongoing distribution of grants and scholarships for our educational and international work.

Your membership and your support for your association ensures that we will deliver on our 2020 Vision to be “The Strong Independent Voice for Social Work and Social Workers”. The unexpected closure of the College of Social Work in England has underlined the importance of social work and social workers being represented by a member-led and independent association. BASW has been glad to offer former members of TCSW a new home, and we give them a warm welcome. We are working with TCSW on how BASW can continue some of the important work that was being carried out by the College prior to the announcement of its closure.

Our growing numbers strengthen our ability to deal with the harsh realities of the workplace where some members are facing continuing cuts in their resources to support people who are themselves facing the severe welfare benefit changes. We will continue to campaign against these cuts.

We continue to provide our advice and representation service, in partnership with the Social Workers Union (SWU). In these challenging times our members need the best protection possible. We believe that together, BASW and SWU provide the best protection and advice for social workers, from social workers.