Skip to main content

"An association where every social worker belongs": Watch BASW chair's AGM speech

BASW chair outlines our organisation's commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion...

As part of National Inclusion Week, we are sharing a speech from BASW chair Gerry Nosowska, from our Annual General Meeting in September.

In the speech, Gerry outlines our vision and mission as an organisation - and how equality, diversity and inclusion is a fundamental part of how we develop in our role as the independent voice of social work in the UK.


AGM 2021: BASW Chair, Gerry Nosowska, shares the BASW Vision and Mission

Full speech transcript:

It has been a long difficult 18 months.

You know better than me the pressures on social workers, the challenges people are facing and the barriers to getting things done.

As we finish our members’ meeting and absorb all that BASW has done over the last year, and all we aspire to in the year ahead, I want to take a moment to tune into: why social work matters; and why BASW is so important and still here after 51 years.

Social work matters. Not because it is rich, or powerful or even 100% unique.

But because it holds true to something that really does matter – that every person is important and everyone deserves a life of dignity and respect. And more than this, social work is important because social workers have insight – from long experience, effort and learning – about how to achieve this.

We connect with people.

We listen.

We collaborate.

Social workers don’t know best. But we do know relationships.

And because social work really does change lives, we keep doing it, even though we get tired.

Anyone could need social work. The unthinkable could happen to any of us – we could have an accident; our parents could fall ill; our children get into trouble; our friends disclose some tremendous struggle.

And in that moment, when we are overwhelmed with change or loss, we all deserve someone on our side.

Someone who connects, listens and works with us, to help us take charge again.

This is what BASW’s Vision and Mission is about:

We are for social workers because we have something important to offer.

We are for social work because it is the safety net and springboard each of us might need.

We are for a better society because everyone should be able to live with dignity.

This work is so worth doing but let’s not do it alone. Social work is not a solo activity.

We all need support.

We all need to learn.

We all need to connect with our values and purpose.

And together we are louder, stronger and achieve more. You can see this in the impact that is set out in Annual Report.

BASW offers support, growth and voice. And our commitment is:

To be an association where every social worker belongs.

Alongside experts by experience, to build social work that enables everyone to thrive.

And with our allies to work for a society where everyone matters.

We know there is more to do and we will keep doing it together.

Thank you for being part of this wonderful profession. Thank you for being part of BASW.