Festive messages from the SWU General Secretary and SWU Chair

Dear SWU members,

Thank you sincerely for your continuing membership and engagement with SWU. I wish you a peaceful and relaxing festive period and end of year and I look forward to your continued membership and support in  2024.

I would also like to thank the engine of SWU which is the Executive, staff and the hard working, knowledgeable and skillful Advice and Representation team who are by far the reason a lot of members join SWU and BASW.  Unlike other trade unions, SWU is able to offer you representation if eligible from a qualified Social Worker and someone who understands the competing demands placed upon you by your employer and the Code of Conduct, and what it’s like to be a practicing Social Worker. No other social work union can guarantee that you will have an A&R officer providing advice and, if needed, representation at the highest level.

Have a great festive break and somewhere there will be social workers working hard over the festive period providing a side to Social Work that the public rarely sees or media reporting on the great work we do 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year.

John McGowan, SWU General Secretary

SWU General Secretary John McGowan at the Social Workers Union Conference & Annual General Meeting 2018 on 21st September 2018. Picture by Simon Hadley. 07774 193699 mail@simonhadley.co.uk www.simonhadley.co.uk

A festive message from the SWU Chair

A festive message from SWU Chair Dave Callow, December 2023
Christmas ornament and blackboard background

SWU Chair Dave Callow shares his reflections on the importance of solidarity and kindness at the beginning of the 2023 festive season.

As 2023 draws to a close I would like to begin by thanking all the social workers out there whose empathy, understanding and perseverance is perhaps not acknowledged as much as it should be. SWU not only supports you but, as people qualified in social work, we empathise with you as you continue to be all things to all people in a cost-of-living crisis and somehow also find time for the people that mean the most to you.

As I write this in my capacity as Programme Lead for the MSc Social Work at the University of Lincoln, 16 Social Work students will very shortly be registering with Social Work England following successful completion of their 2 years with us and as such are now about to begin the role they were brought to or guided to for many different and individual reasons.

There must have been times in the last two years when I appeared to be bursting with pride at some of the comments they made. Including the recognition that structural inequalities are fundamental to the behaviours we observe in society and that what we expect to see in any practice situation and how it actually appears perhaps says more about us, our own privileges and potential biases – essentially our self-awareness. Witnessing the development in their self-awareness as future social workers is something I will remember now and then and of course is as equally important to social work practice – 

The beauty of social awareness is that a few simple adjustments to what you say can vastly improve your relationships with other people.

– Travis Bradberry

I thought about what I might say to our departing cohort of students, and I would like to share it with our members as well.

A photo of SWU Chair Dave Callow

I wish you all a peaceful holiday.

In solidarity,

Dave Callow, SWU Chair