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Meaning, Motions and Memory: highlights from BASW Council

Council – BASW UK’s board of directors – had our quarterly meeting on 19 May.

Update by Gerry Nosowska, BASW Chair.


In Council, everything we discuss relates to our Mission – for social workers, for social work, for a better society. And every meeting we try to make our work more meaningful.

This meeting we focused on the involvement of people with lived experience in BASW. We have a great framework for this (thank you members and allies who created it) and each part of BASW is acting in different ways to work with people with lived experience.

But Council has much more to do to transform the way we lead and make involvement visible. We will work with people with lived experience to create transformation standards for Council and for BASW. We will share these at the Annual General Meeting.


The Annual General Meeting is on September 15th. Council will be reporting back on motions passed last year and there will be new ones brought by members.

Motions are proposals for actions BASW should take. Through its history, they have guided and pushed us to take action.  Any 20 members, committee or branch can put forward a motion.

In Council, we talked about the progress we have made on motions this year – on anti-racism, education and human rights – and we will give a full account in September. And we clarified the process for responding to motions: after they come into BASW, Council reviews them to ensure they are as inclusive as possible and aligned with our Vision and Code of Ethics; they are then shared with members for any amendments members want to make; and then they go the Annual General Meeting for discussion and a vote.

Council will be working with staff to make the Annual General Meeting as accessible to all members as possible.


Our 50th birthday year has been a year for looking back and forward.  A poignant moment in this year was the memorial event for Terry Bamford that was held on 12 May. This and our heritage events remind us that we hold a legacy from people who have shaped and strengthened social work.

In Council we heard about future events in June to mark the end of the year, as well as actions to mark the 10th anniversary of the Social Workers’ Union and the 50th birthday of the Social Workers’ Benevolent Trust.

We also have a debt of recognition to pay to all social workers for their contribution to our communities during Covid-19.  

BASW will take a lead in recognising the significance of the struggles and the impact of social workers during the pandemic.  Council agreed that we will hold a memorial event for UK social workers.

We will invite social worker representatives from across the UK and will ask leaders and the public to commemorate their work.

We will remember our losses and also celebrate the strength of social work. And we will create a permanent memorial to social workers in our headquarters in Birmingham. We will announce the details of the memorial event shortly.