Register once and get all the links to all of our rich selection of online talks, discussions, presentations, launches, storytelling, poetry, music and interaction over two days.

Register now with an optional donation for three key charities (free for unwaged).

Explore social work and BASW over 50 years and look to the future. Throughout we will reflect on social work during Covid and what it means over coming months and years.  Inequality, discrimination, injustice and poverty will be explored across all sessions.

We will have a storyteller, poets, happy birthday films (from some famous supporters and the rest of us!) and music and a host of contributors from practice, leadership, lived experience of services, education, research, writing and activism.

Download and share the festival poster

Twitter: #BASW50 #BASW50festival

 - DAY 1 -


22nd June 1pm – 2.15pm        

Protecting rights, helping people flourish: is this social work yet?   

Special guest: Lemn Sissay


  • Gerry Nosowska, BASW Chair (Session host)
  • Lyn Romeo (Chief Social Worker for Adults in England on sabbatical)
  • Tricia Pereira (previous Chair of PSW network England and Head of Adults Services, LB Merton)
  • Fiona Macleod, Neath Port Talbot County Council, Wales
  • David Gillen, Children and Families Social Worker of 30 years and  with lived experience of care, Northern Ireland
  • Professor Brid Featherstone, University of Hull

Themes: How far has social work come in listening to, co-producing and being in solidarity with people using services? How has political and economic context affected our practice over the years?  How can social work live up to its stated aims of being both relational, structural and political? And how has Covid and recent outrage over health inequalities and racism affected social work?


22nd June 5pm - 6.15pm              

Social work research then, now and next  

Launch of British Journal of Social Work 50th Virtual Edition (free to access).  Hear about this special collection of 50 selected articles from 50 years from the editorial group and next editors of the journal. Followed by a discussion about the future of social work research across the UK with other contributors.

  • Emeritus Professor Margaret Holloway, University of Hull, Co-Editor of BJSW
  • Professor Malcolm Golightly, University of Lincoln, Co-Editor of BJSW
  • Dr Reima Ana Maglajlic, Sussex University, incoming Co-Editor of BJSW
  • Professor Vasilios Iokamidis, University of Essex, incoming Co-Editor of BJSW
  • Dr Grant Scott, Glasgow Caledonian University, BJSW Board member
  • Gerry Nosowska, BASW Chair
  • Dr Ruth Allen, BASW CEO
  • Professor Jim Campbell, University College Dublin, former editor of BJSW
  • Other members of the Virtual Edition Editorial Board


22nd June 6.15pm – 6.45pm      

Music for social workers: from performers across the UK


 - DAY 2 -


23rd June 1pm – 2.15pm              

Better workplaces, better wellbeing

Launch and presentations of a crucial new resources for social workers everywhere – the Bath Spa, SWU and BASW Working Conditions and Wellbeing Toolkit Resource.  Good practice examples and discussion of the future imperatives of worker wellbeing. Finish with a wellbeing exercise.

  • Dr Jermaine Ravalier, Bath Spa University                                           
  • John McGowan, General Secretary of the Social Workers Union
  • Dr Ruth Allen, CEO, BASW
  • Leire Agirre, Principal Social Worker, Central Bedfordshire
  • Jon Dudley (Host) BASW Treasurer
  • Others to be confirmed


23rd June 4.30pm – 5.10pm         

Book launch with the authors: Social work: past, present and future  

  • Edited by Keith Bilton and the dearly missed Terry Bamford, this important book on 50 years of social work created to coincide with BASW’s 50th will be presented and discussed by the authors including Peter Beresford, Hilary Tompsett, June Thoburn, Jane Tunstill, David Jones, Guy Shennan, Malcolm Jordan.


23rd June 5.15pm – 6.30pm         

The future of social work:  bright, confident, diverse? 

David Brindle from the Guardian newspaper, social workers, students, educators, researchers and people with lived experience of services will explore what we want and need for the future – and how to get there

  • Gerry Nosowska (Host) BASW Chair
  • Emma Grady, chair of the BASW England Student and NQSW group and the global Social Work Students Hub – and other students from around the UK
  • Professor Lena Dominelli, University of Sterling
  • Other contributors



23rd June 6.30pm – 8pm               

The 50 year playlist for social work

  • Specially curated for BASW by a national radio DJ, we hope to broadcast this in full and all attendees will have the link to listen at any time from spotify.