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BASW tribute to ADASS President Harold Bodmer

BASW is saddened by the sudden death of Harold Bodmer, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) President.

Harold was born in Zimbabwe and studied social work in apartheid South Africa, where he was deeply moved by the “powerlessness and desperation of people”. He stated that this experience had shaped his career in social work after moving back to England where he worked in London, Cambridgeshire and then Norfolk, as assistant director in 2003 and director from 2006.

BASW Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen shared her condolences saying: “I’m so sorry to hear about the death of Harold Bodmer and on behalf of the Association I would like to extend my deepest sympathies. Harold was a caring advocate of social work and the people we serve.

“BASW benefited from Harold’s wisdom at our social work summit in January, where collaboratively we were able to begin to develop a stronger united voice for the profession, talk about renewing confidence within social work and share our understanding of the challenges for the future of practice. We will miss Harold greatly.”

Chair Guy Shennan added to this stating: "The first time I met Harold was at the social work summit earlier this year, and I was to learn directly what I had already heard, that he was dedicated to social work, and he was a good friend to BASW. He will be missed by social workers and my condolences go to his family and friends."

A further tribute was paid by BASW England Manager Maris Stratulis, she described Harold as "a well respected and dedicated social worker who always recognised the value of the global profession of social work and the importance of partnership with service users and diverse organisations across the sector – his practitioner and leadership role in England was significant and he will be missed by many.”

Recognition of Harold Bodmer's contribution to the sector were received from numerous colleagues today, including ADASS Vice-President Margaret Wilcox and former President Ray James who stated: “People today have used the words “such a lovely, honourable man” capturing how, in addition to his professionalism and expertise, his values, integrity, compassion, humility and warmth meant Harold was not only deeply respected but also held in great affection by so many people.”

BASW joins with colleagues from across the health and social care sector to express our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy to Harold’s wife Julie, daughter Holly, and sons Joel and Sam.