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BASW Blog: The BASW 50th Anniversary Project - End of a journey and a nod to a new and exciting future

Gaby Zavoli, BASW Heritage project co-ordinator, looks back through a wonderful period of activities and celebrations – and encourages members to join us for a special reflection event next week

* Book your place on our special heritage event on Tuesday 29 June - we will discuss what we've learned and how we build a legacy for the project *

I want to start this by saying ‘thank you’ to everyone that has been involved with this project; thank you to the people that believed in the project from its initial concept through to the project today.

We are coming to the end of what has been a successful and fascinating adventure over the last 18 months.

We started the project with a launch in Birmingham in February 2020. No one could have known what would happen next. Covid-19 struck the world, I kept hearing people say, ‘it is unprecedented’ ‘never in my lifetime’ ‘will the world ever be the same’.

Our worlds changed personally and professionally and this had a massive impact on the project. We started to ask you if you wanted to tell us how you were feeling, would you talk to us in webinars and write your thoughts down on paper. Working from home started to feel a little less isolating as hundreds of members from around the UK contacted me with ideas and creative expression.

Together, we achieved a wonderful 50th anniversary 2-day festival (which you can watch again) in June of 2020 supported by social workers, experts by experience and dare I say it a few celebrities!

We have not just celebrated the successes of BASW over the last 50 years and social work over 100 years, we have confronted the negatives of social work past, highlighting the things we have not done so well as well as our achievements.

Heritage is about our uniqueness, it encompasses history, art, politics, poetry, life, and the vibrancy of culture and custom. Heritage captures and collates, it starts conversations. It is about what connects us, what we share but also what distinguishes each person and profession. We must question, celebrate the successes, and always face our struggles and failures head on. It is about learning from the past to impact the future.

The BASW Heritage Project has such a wealth of knowledge and diversity embedded in both the initiatives we have achieved but also in the developmental aims for the future. Working with colleagues from across the UK, I have seen how each nation BASW Cymru, BASW Northern Ireland, BASW England and BASW Scotland have produced an array of powerful projects that will reflect BASW then and now for many years to come.

2020 to 2021 we have all suffered sadness and loss, losing family members, friends and colleagues. We have experienced happiness, celebration, support, and fulfilment and throughout it all we have carried on. Determined to deliver and create impact.

In closing, I do not want to end with a sad goodbye but a nod to the next phase, to social work, to BASW, thank you to everyone for everything that you do.

Let us look to the next 50 years. What do you want BASW to achieve?

** Join us to discuss this question - and look back on the project as a whole - on Tuesday 29 June **