February Council – Farewells and welcomes
BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska, reports back on the latest Council meeting
Council met on 19th February in our BASW Northern Ireland office in Belfast.
This Council started with a sad moment as we remembered Terry Bamford who died recently. Terry is an inspiration to us and we miss him. He is well remembered in Northern Ireland from his time as Director of Social Services in the Southern Health and Social Services Board.
We also said a reluctant goodbye and huge thank you to Colin Reid and Gareth McGibbon who have finished their time on Council.
This contrasted with the pleasure of welcoming new Council members – BASW NI Chair Orlaith McGibbon and co-opted members Narinder Sidhu, Charmaine Malcolm and Julia Ross. We have been adding our biographies to the website so that you can find out more about who is on Council.
Council is working to increase equality, diversity and inclusion in BASW. We are co-opting members to Council to increase the representation of the board and will report on our make-up at the Annual Members Meeting in June. This meeting, we agreed inclusion guidance for Council and committees. The guidance will help us to encourage members to join committees, to support them when they do, and to ensure that they can take part in ways that work for them.
Our next step is to set up an Advisory Group. This will be a group of members who directly advise Council on equality, diversity and inclusion. The group will challenge and encourage us to do better. We will be working on this over the next few months.
Elections for various posts on Council are coming up in the next month. Please do consider standing for a role and encourage others to do this. I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t previously felt that this might be for you. Please think about it. We will support you.
New members in Council had the pleasure of approving the audited accounts for BASW for last year, and seeing that our finances and management of them is sound.
We had an update on the Vision 2025. Thank you to all who contributed to the consultation about how BASW should evolve over the next 5 years. We heard from you that BASW primarily is there to support social workers – social workers working for social workers. This then leads to better social work. By being there for social workers and strengthening social work we help build a better world.
We also had the chance to hear more about the latest campaign activities. On 23 March we are launching our Working Conditions toolkit along with Social Workers Union. This will help us to individually act to uphold our wellbeing and, more significantly in these pressured times, to collectively ask for the support we need. BASW will be working with employers to embed the toolkit in a few areas of the UK. This will help us to advocate and campaign better for you.
It is fitting that, as we come up to our 50th anniversary and the start of our Heritage Year, we had farewells and welcomes. BASW continues to thrive and owes so much to the people who came before, whose example and persistence make our work possible.