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Social Workers Union (SWU) celebrates 15,000-member milestone

The lucky 15,000th member will receive a gift from SWU to celebrate the union reaching such an incredible milestone

SWU, the UK’s only specialist union for social workers, has now grown to over 15,000 members.

Sumita Verma is the lucky 15,000th member and will be receiving a gift from SWU to celebrate helping the union reach such an incredible milestone.

We also extend our heartfelt thanks to each and every SWU member for making this possible.

A photo of Sumita Verma, who is SWU's 15,000th member
Congratulations Sumita Verma on being SWU's 15,000th member!

Commenting on her motivations for joining SWU, Sumita Verma said: “I am delighted about being the 15,000th member of the Social Workers Union (SWU). While completing my masters in social work, BASW has been a great influence on my learning. Therefore, joining SWU was my natural choice for further support and guidance.

“Having started my career in social work, I now face difficult circumstances in which expert advise is very important. There are many unknowns and surprises that a social worker has to come across while carrying out their practice. In such situations, SWU is a protector and a guide to help towards achieving better outcome. Becoming a member gives me peace of mind that I have someone to approach for support, if confronted with difficult situations. In summary, membership of SWU is a blessing for me in every aspect of my career.”

John McGowan, General Secretary of SWU, said: “Membership continues to rise, showing that we are moving in the right direction and still one of the fastest growing unions in the UK.

“When I was first elected as the General Secretary in September 2016, membership was just over 9000 and SWU membership was initially free to BASW members. Interest in the union has been incredible and the skilled work of the Advice and Representation Service team and the sense of belonging to a specialist trade union cannot be overlooked. Although we are separate in our management, I am delighted to have such a close working relationship with BASW.”

Carys Phillips, Chair of SWU, said: “I really am thrilled that there are 15,000 SWU members - this reflects the growing activism in Social Work that sits alongside the reputation and hard work of SWU. Through its collaborations SWU is offering hope and effective challenge for Social Work when anything is now possible. SWU is working for decisive change from the failed managerialism in Social Work towards social justice and equity for all – building on community and co-production. And, of course, SWU continues to offer first rate representation; keeping the promise it made 10 years ago when the union was first formed.”

Commenting on SWU achieving 15,000 members, Geraldine Nosowska, BASW Chair, said: “It is wonderful that more and more social workers are accessing specialist social work trade union support from the Social Workers’ Union.  BASW is delighted to hear this good news as SWU turns 10 years old. We will continue to work in partnership for the help, voice and recognition that social workers deserve.”

Celebrating 10 years, 2011-2021 | Social Workers Union (SWU) 15,000 members