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Gerry Nosowska to be new BASW chair

BASW is pleased to announce the election of Gerry Nosowska as the association’s new chair.

Gerry will take over from existing chair Guy Shennan at the Annual General Meeting on 13 June.

The appointment follows an election process that included a live webinar hustings with Gerry and the two other candidates for the post - Donna Peach and Hilary Tompsett.

Gerry said: “I am delighted to be elected as chair after a very positive election process. 

“I want all social workers to be able to have encounters with people that are ethical and helpful. BASW has an important role: we can bring social workers together, alongside people with lived experience of social work, to speak up for the importance of social work, to develop our practice and to influence our context.

“My priorities are to help social workers get involved in BASW, especially practitioners, build our influence through partnerships, and work to make real change in our society so people can thrive.”

She added: “I am looking forward to working with all members, council and social workers across the UK.”

Gerry has extensive experience of adult social care, management and solution-focused practice improvement. She is a Research in Practice for Adults Associate and currently chairs the BASW England’s Adults Practice, Policy and Education Group and is on BASW England’s committee.

In her election statement, Gerry stated her focus as chair will include:

  • Growing the voice of practice and representation while ensuring a diverse and representative membership and make the association more accessible
  • Increasing partnership working, especially for people with lived experience of social work
  • Impacting on the context of social work, helping to address poverty, inequality and oppression through campaigns and influencing decision-makers
  • Improving work conditions in partnership with the Social Workers Union

The talents and passions of the two other candidates in the election will be retained, with Hilary re-elected to BASW’s Council and Donna remaining a Council member.

BASW Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen said: “After a hugely positive and engaging election campaign with three excellent women candidates, I am delighted to welcome Gerry into her new role.

“I look forward to working really closely with her and taking forward our ambitions for the association, reaching out across our sector and making a difference.

“I have great confidence in the skills and commitment Gerry will bring and I believe these will be very exciting and productive times for BASW under her leadership.” 

Current BASW Chair, Guy Shennan added: “Congratulations to Gerry on being elected Chair of BASW. I will be delighted to hand over the reins to her in Cardiff in June, and I hope that she enjoys her time as Chair as much as I have done. I am confident that Gerry’s passion for social work and the ideas she will bring will take BASW to another level.

"Commiserations to Hilary and Donna, who helped to make it an excellent campaign. It’s great that all three will be on BASW Council and I wish them all well for the future.”