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Novelist to donate half profits from new book to social workers

Former Social Work Today journalist Maggie Fogarty supports the Social Work Benevolent Trust to mark 50th anniversary of the British Association of Social Workers

Maggie Fogarty's book Shorts and Thoughts

Professional Social Work magazine - 16 June 2020

A former social affairs journalist-turned-novelist is donating half the profits of her new book to a charity supporting social workers to mark 50 years of the British Association of Social Workers.

Maggie Fogarty said she wants to support the Social Workers Benevolent Trust (SWBT) because of fond memories as a reporter on Social Work Today during the 1980s.

Her collection of short stories Shorts and Thoughts is published this week and features a tale about a social worker. Other stories deal with themes close to the profession such as people facing big life changes.

Maggie rose to become chief reporter on Social Work Today, the precursor of Professional Social Work magazine, before moving into broadcasting, working on programmes such as Channel 4 News, ITV Tonight and made an award-winning BBC documentary on the 30th anniversary of the Birmingham Pub Bombings.

She said: “I valued my time reporting on social work and have always maintained a strong interest in the sector continuing to cover news and making factual programmes on social affairs.

“I wanted to do something to mark BASW’s 50th anniversary as writing for Social Work Today, which was published by the association, was my first step into the world of journalism.

“The Shorts and Thoughts collection features one story from the point of view of a fictional social worker and other stories deal with growing older, obsessive compulsive disorder and recovery from childhood trauma.”

SWBT, which also celebrates its 50th anniversary next year, provides financial assistance to social workers and their dependents in times of hardship.

Its co-chair, Julian Levitt said: “On behalf of the trust, I can’t thank Maggie enough for thinking of us with this kind gesture. As a small charity we rely on donations to support social workers, ex-social workers and their dependents when they are in difficulty.

“I remember Maggie as a great journalist and writer during her time on Social Work Today and would urge as many people as possible to buy Shorts and Thoughts. I believe that not only will they enjoy a fantastic, thought-provoking read but they’ll also be helping social workers in need of support.”

Julian said about half of recent applications to the charity mention coronavirus as being a direct or a related cause of their difficulties.

He added: “We often forget that social workers face hardships in their own lives just like anyone else because we associate them with being professionals who support others.

“It’s crucial we support them too, not least now when many are facing additional challenges during the coronavirus crisis.”

BASW is marking its half centenary with a wide range of events – more information here

Click here to buy a copy of Shorts and Thoughts