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End of year message from Ruth Allen, BASW CEO

Throughout the last nine months I have often been in awe at the fortitude, positivity and creativity from social workers in the UK and across the world

This has been a very tough year – and yet one full of gems.

There have been losses, sudden changes, dilemmas, confusions to deal with, all without being able to turn to family, friends and colleagues for a reassuring hug or kitchen table chat.

We have had to dig deep, adapt as best we can, look after ourselves and others, and be courageous to try new things.

Throughout the last nine months I have often been in awe at the fortitude, positivity and creativity from social workers in the UK and across the world.

It has been a privilege to be involved in developing more and different support to social workers and students, to adapt as an organisation and try really hard to stay attuned to what is most important. If we learn nothing else from this pandemic, I hope we have all learnt the importance of looking after ourselves in the midst of acting for others.

Whatever BASW has achieved has been down to the incredible contribution, work and leadership of members as well as the coordination and leadership we can provide from our committed staff team. My thanks to the huge number of members who contribute to committees, Council, other groups and working parties, volunteer as coaches and mentors, fill out surveys, write for the magazine, organise and attend branch meetings, speak at events, represent the profession to politicians, speak to the press or broadcasters and more…

BASW is shaped empowered through our collective identity and by the real engagement and passion of members.

This year we have seen more of this than ever - and we have hit our highest ever membership in BASW and SWU.

In March 2021, we will be coordinating celebrations of social work for the first time across a whole ‘World Social Work Month’ as well as having a specific celebration on World Social Work Day on 16th March.

The theme for World Social Work Day 2021 across the globe is taken for the southern African philosophy ‘Ubuntu: ‘I am because we are’. It refers to common humanity, oneness and solidarity. 

It was important during the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and so has particular resonance as we continue to support Black Lives Matter and the call to action to end racism in all its forms which has been such a focus in 2020.

Season’s greetings. I hope you have a break, a peaceful, happy time, and that we all get to sit down for a real cup of tea and a chat with each other next year.

Ruth Allen, BASW CEO

Ruth Allen, BASW CEO