Battling the Cost-of-Living Crisis: Campaign Action Pack (2024)

Available to download now! "Boot Out Austerity Marches on! Battling the Cost-of-Living Crisis: Campaign Action Pack"

Boot Out Austerity marches on!

The Social Workers Union (SWU) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) are committed to campaigning to bring an end to austerity and the cost-of-living crisis, to be replaced by investment in public services required for a socially just society. SWU and BASW are proud to support this updated Campaign Action Pack from the Austerity Action Group (AAG) and encourage social workers to make use of this toolkit for activism.

The aim of the Battling the Cost-of-Living Crisis: Campaign Action Pack is to encourage people to take action against austerity. It is a step-by-step guide outlining everything from how to organise public meetings, rallies, and awareness-raising film nights to setting up petitions, lobbying, and contacting the press.

We have tried to include everything you need to get campaigning, but would welcome your feedback about what works and what doesn’t. You can get in touch with the AAG at

Download your copy below!

A message from the AAG

As Vice-Chair of the Austerity Action Group, I am very pleased to see the production of an updated 2024 version of this Campaign Action Pack, building on the initial one created some seven years ago.

It is significant that social workers – supported by their professional association and specialist trade union – have invested time and effort in keeping the messages of this anti-austerity campaigning pack alive. We recognize the extent to which policy choices of recent governments continue to oppress the poor and the marginalized, thereby putting more pressure on social work to “pick up the pieces”. 

Many social workers have only ever practised in times of austerity; many only know casework and do not have a “political” view about the causes of the struggles faced by families on their caseloads.

I urge all readers and browsers of this pack to not just reflect on what a great piece of radical work it is, but to make a commitment to act on its contents – it is an ACTION pack, after all!

Such action need not be intensive or extensive. We have all heard how exhausted social workers are at the end of each day and do not have the energy to do “extra work”. Just start small. Maybe put the pack on your next team meeting, look to a joint initiative with colleagues, approach a local voluntary group or the people with lived experience group at your local university to see what a useful local focus might be, or go along to a MP’s surgery and let them know what life is really like for many of their constituents.

Better still, stand or encourage your friends to stand as local councillors – future social work needs you to help rid us of the austerity curse that has so affected us all.

Do something, please.

Three protesters walking with a sign that says "BOOT OUT AUSTERITY!" | Social Workers Union (SWU) Austerity Action Group (AAG)

Peter Unwin

Austerity Action Group Vice Chair


SWU and BASW would like to express our collective thanks and gratitude to Angi Naylor who has been a driving force behind this campaign pack and a leading light in the action against austerity movement. Your hard work championing the voice of social work in the fight against austerity and your unwavering commitment, passion and hard work towards achieving a fairer, more compassionate society continues to inspire us all.

With thanks to everyone who took part in or supported the original Boot Out Austerity walk in 2017, to members of the SWU funded Austerity Action Group, in particular to Angi Naylor, Dr Peter Unwin and Daz Hull for their commitment and attention to detail, to SWU Ambassador Emma Lewell-Buck MP for the Foreword and SWU Honorary President Malcolm Jordan for his message, to Preet Kaur Gill MP and Prof. Danny Dorling for their endorsements of our work, to Prof. Sarah-Marie Hall for allowing us to include her article, to Allison Hulmes, Jodie-Rose and Becki Meakin for their contributions and to the Social Workers Union and Nancy Platts with Campaign Collective for producing this campaign pack.

And to everyone who has shared their expertise and their stories, we will continue to fight with you.

2017 edition of the Campaign Action Pack

A small group of participants in the Boot Out Austerity walk from Birmingham to Liverpool in 2017 recognised the value of the knowledge they had gained in the planning and executing of the walk and set about collating all that information into a 100 page guide. This first edition of the AAG’s Campaign Action Pack was published in 2017 and titled Leave No Stone Unturned in the Fight Against Austerity: Campaign Action Pack.

Click here to access the first edition of this Campaign Action Pack and a video of the song “Boot Out Austerity Blues” which was written for the Boot Out Austerity campaign, preformed by The George Cowley Experience, and led by AAG member Peter Unwin.