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Word power - two social workers put it in verse on National Poetry Day and for the start of Black History Month

Narinder Sidhu (left) and Tanya Mendez

Flames of racism

By Narinder Sidhu

This racial fire has been burning for far too long, savagely engulfing those that deserve better.

Many watch blindly as these roaring flames of racism consume, exhaust and hide humanity.

I dare to wonder how far the fire will spread, for those who burn there is no comfort, no warmth, no love, no solace.

Those who watch silently while secretly applauding, feeding this fire, this burning, this mighty destruction.

The pain shall linger and never be erased. Yet those still seek to be healed and be part of your world, your society, your life, your heart.

These are forgiving hearts still struggling to be heard, to be seen, to be valued and simply belong.

Again, all we do is offer more pain, more systems, more barriers, more challenges, more suffering and more oppression.

While the fire grows deep into the forest of humanity, some fight for their future and some for their history.

This hatred causes the fire to burn more intensely. Selfish greed destroying our society. We deserve a safe place no longer built off the cruel pain and silence.

Those on fire must now hear our loud voices. Love is always the way, just ask those who have felt it.

Never light the match, never ignite more fires. We were born to love but we got lost amidst this fire. 

Be an ally and let's put out this fire.

Narinder is a BASW council member


Twenty –Twenty Is Covid the reason?

By Tayna Mendez

Is Covid the reason?

Hospital beds are empty, but

Care home beds are plenty?

This is not the time for complacency, for

This is Twenty /Twenty, or,

Is Covid the reason?


Is Covid the reason?

My caseload is high, expectations are high, and

Managers want an urgent reply

But Social Workers are in short supply!

Councils have to rely on agencies to supply.

Is Covid the reason?


Is Covid the reason?

Safeguardings are on the rise, some decisions are unwise

What Social Workers need to realise, the people’s liberty we cannot deprive, only

Empower them to live their lives.

Service users are anxious, Social Workers are anxious.


Is Covid really the reason?

We can’t lose focus,

Remain cautious as this Covid is infectious

Is staying safe the focus?

Or is it the extra funding that they gave us.


Is Covid the reason?

Making decisions in this season

Is such an important lesson.

It’s not all doom and gloom

Luckily there is Zoom,

We need to assume that normality will resume.

Social workers need to take action to keep their heads afloat

It is critical that we all take note

That Covid is no joke,

It is a collective effort, and please

Observe the following key guidelines:

Hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds. Keep them busy, typing, writing and using the keypad to type on the mobile.

Face – avoid face to face contact, but when you do, wear your face coverings

Space – no more meeting at the bedside or in homes.

This is all in the headlines.

Tayna Mendez is a social worker in Bristol