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Harry Venning accepts SWU Ambassador Award

Introducing SWU’s newest Ambassador

The character Clare from Henry Venning's "Clare in the Community" comic strip holds up a copy of the SWU Newsletter with the headline "CARTOONIST MADE SWU AMBASSADOR" and she says "Honestly! They had these out to any Tom, Dick or Harry!"

Harry Venning 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 a BBC Radio 4 sitcom starring Sally Philipps. He has won UK Cartoon Art Trust Strip Cartoonist of the Year and the Sony Radio Comedy Award.

How impoverished the British social work scene would be without his superb artwork and rich sense of humour! A weekly contributor to THE GUARDIAN with the Clare in the Community strip, his work has also appeared in THE MAIL ON SUNDAY, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, INDEPENDENT, SUNDAY TIMES, THE STAGE, and RADIO TIMES as well as publications in Canada, Switzerland, South Africa, and New Zealand – plus books, lots of books. You can also find Clare Classics comic strips in Professional Social Work magazine.  Harry is a member of the exclusive CARTOONIST CLUB OF GREAT BRITAIN with work displayed in the Cartoon Museum, London.

Commenting on the Award, Harry said, ‘I am honoured to become a SWU Ambassador for a profession that I have continuously poked fun at for the last thirty years. As someone who has never been a social worker, I should like to thank social work for providing me with a good living, as well as many good friends along the way.’

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

To celebrate Harry’s appointment as Ambassador, SWU has a signed copy of Harry’s book: The Clare in the Community Collection. To win a copy please email with the header "Clare Comp".  A winning entry will be drawn.

SWU has also appointed Emma Lewell-Buck MP as a new SWU Ambassador.  Emma will be presented with the award soon so watch this space for a further feature.