Blog: 'Reflecting on my time as BASW England Committee Chair'
Dr Andy Gill gives an insight into his role as chair, and encourages members to apply to be the next one
It was over four years ago when I got the call to say I had been elected by members to be chair of BASW England.
At first, I was shocked about the result, but that was quickly replaced with an overwhelming sense of pride and honour to have the privilege to serve my profession.
I can genuinely say that I have loved the role. I've had the opportunity to work with some great people, particularly National Director Maris Stratulis and her wonderful team, who have been so supportive and helpful.
Achieving better outcomes for children, adults and families
My passion has always been about making a difference for frontline social workers, and to campaign on their behalf to create the best conditions for social work.
The role could seem daunting, but there's a real team approach and a fantastic England Committee to support. Together we have worked on some key areas of practice and policy, including advocating successfully for social work representation on the board for Social Work England, anti-discriminatory practice, reform in Adult services and most recently on the Review of Children’s Social Care.
I am passionate about improving the lives of those we serve and achieving better outcomes for children, adults and families - and as chair of BASW England Committee, I have the opportunity to significantly contribute to thinking and practice.
I know that meetings can be sometimes long, but across the whole BASW England Committee we've worked hard to make them interesting, challenging and participatory - with lots of opportunities to contribute and make your voice heard.
Each meeting has an interactive element where we pick up current issues linked to our business plan priorities (for example, co-producing our England manifesto or think about how we reach out and involve people with lived experience in our various workstreams).
As chair, you can shape this work and lead on finding solutions to challenges. The work of the local branches and special interest groups is inspiring and again offers opportunities for you to develop your passions and make a real impact on the profession.
Talk to Andy about being the next chair of BASW England
Currently there is a great opportunity to stand for Chair or Vice-chair of the England Committee and I would encourage members to seriously look into this.
After four years - and through the pandemic - I have never regretted standing and will leave the role with great sadness.
If you would like to discuss both roles I am happy to informally chat and you can contact me directly at andy.gill412[at]gmail.com.