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The Social Workers Union presents SWU Ambassador Award to Emma Lewell-Buck

Thanks, Emma, for all your hard work and advocating for the social work profession.

SWU General Secretary John McGowan presents Emma Lewell-Buck MP with the SWU Ambassador Award and a personalized "Clare in the Community" cartoon on 15 December 2021 in her Westminster office.

The Social Workers Union (SWU) General Secretary John McGowan met with Emma Lewell-Buck in her Westminster office on the afternoon of December 15th to honour her for her tireless advocacy for social work and the people who use its services. John presented Emma with the SWU Ambassador Award along with a personalised Clare in the Community drawing illustrated by Harry Venning.

Upon accepting the award, Emma said, “I promise to continue fighting for our dedicated and hardworking social workers across the country.”

John thanked Emma for all her hard work and advocating for the social work profession. He said, “We certainly need a lot of positivity at the moment and media sharing of how much pressure social workers are under.”

SWU Ambassadors promote SWU, social work, and the positive work of social workers. Emma continues to offer her full support to the union in whatever way she can. Read on to learn more about our newest SWU Ambassador.

Emma Louise Lewell-Buck is a Labour Party MP and is South Shields’ first female MP. Prior to becoming an MP, Emma was a child protection social worker and a Cabinet member for adult social services in her local authority. She joined the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty and in 2017 introduced a Private Members' Bill – the Food Insecurity Bill – that sought to require the Government to monitor and report on food insecurity.

Emma has expressed concern about the large number of children in care and how government cuts to support services has contributed to this, saying, “The government is missing valuable opportunities to keep children in the care of their families. Not only does that add pressure to budgets already decimated by austerity, it also leaves children and their families with deep and enduring emotional scars.”

Emma spoke at the SWU Fringe 2019 event in Manchester with a message of solidarity and support for social workers. She closed her speech by saying, "Despite this Government’s best efforts, the profession survives. Excellent social work happens every single day in all areas of our country. Children and adults are protected from harm and their lives are improved. I want to thank you all for what you do. I am proud to be a social worker."

Speaking about the SWU Ambassadors, General Secretary of SWU John McGowan said, “This is the second time we have reached out for Ambassadors to represent SWU and the success of this outreach builds on recent recruits such as Dr Neil Thompson and Professor Jermaine Ravalier. The new Ambassadors are well placed to share all the positive work we do with a range of audiences. The calibre of our SWU Ambassadors once more emphasises the important place we have as the only specialist union for social workers and one of the largest specialist unions in the UK – which is a feat we have achieved in a relatively short time frame.”

Below you can see the one-off Clare in the Community drawing that Harry Venning created for Emma to celebrate this occasion. Harry is an award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, and comedy writer best known for creating the Clare in the Community cartoon strip following the life of a social worker and has also recently become a SWU Ambassador.