Vote In Your Steering Committee 2016/17


Each computer is allowed to take part in voting once – therefore if there is more than one SWAN member sharing a computer, a new device must be used per person. This is a security measure. 

Members may vote for as many or as few of the nominees as they wish UP TO A MAXIMUM OF 15. Each nominee must receive a minimum of 2 votes to eligible for election, and if we have more than 15 eligible nominees, the 15 with the most votes will be elected.

You may nominate yourself until Friday 3rd June 6pm, by sending approx. 50 words to What you are signing up to is all clearly explained here.

Voting opens on the 4th June at 9am for two weeks, until 18th June 18.00pm.

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Dundee Swan Grabs Press Attention – Well Done and Keep It Up!!


Only recently set up by enthusiastic students and inspiring academics – and reaching out to practitioners in the area, Dundee Swan has been mobilising for the June 5th Solidarity Day with full force. Ruth Jackson and Amy Kenyon deserve a special thank you and well done for their sleep out. Focusing on the social work profession’s unique position to assess the impact of the displacement upon refugees’ mental health, child protection issues, and the need for social justice, they have raised hundreds of pounds for next Sunday’s convoy.

If you want to join Dundee Swan, email


Dundee Swan - news coverage

June 5th Update: Aftermath of the Calais Fire – Convoy Goes Ahead

The disturbing scenes of refugees fighting with each other and tents burning are disquieting, but they are a direct consequence of the humanitarian crisis created by Europe’s governments.

After Thursday, some supporters have asked if our convoy in June 5th is taking place. We have been taking with groups on the ground, and having taken advice from Care4Calais we can confirm that we will be going ahead as planned. Solidarity is needed more than ever.

As is targeted material aid! There is a renewed call for the basics – tents, ground mats and food are in short supply. 

See reports and links for buying aid on the Calais Action facebook page.

This is from the Care4Calais site:

We are very sad and sorry to report there has been some fighting in the camp and a pretty bad fire. It is extremely difficult to have so many people living in cramped conditions and under so much pressure, and tensions are high. Fire is always a big risk with inadequate facilities and little protection. Sadly, the Ashram kitchen has destroyed and the Belgium kitchen damaged. To put things back together we will need your help. In particular we need: 

 Food parcels 
Fire extinguishers
 Bed rolls
 Tools to clear ground
 Pallets and building materials 
As always, thank you so much.

CALAIS KITCHENS URGENTLY NEED: Ring pull tins of fish, chickpeas, beans (protein) and veg (nutrients). 

Michael Lavalette

Swan National Convenor


JUST PUBLISHED: “Frontline” – the Social Work Action Network Ireland Bulletin

The Social Work Action Network Ireland bulletin, “Frontline” has just been published. Issue 2, June 2016, is attached. Please read it and share far and wide. We would also love to hear from you about the articles you read and would also love to receive any of your articles for future editions! Our email is: socialworkactionnetworkireland “at”

Thanks, from the Frontline Editorial Collective (FEC)

Link to Frontline Issue 2 June 2016:


European Social Work Day of Solidarity With Refugees – Update June 5th

The European Day of Solidarity has inspired action to be planned all over the globe between the 3rd and 6th of June, and the UK day of action takes place on June 5th. 

In response to advice from on-the-ground volunteers in Calais, Swan will be sending 50 activists to the Jungle drawn from 5 regional areas: Scotland, NW England, NE England, the Midlands and the South of England.

The convoy will be launched from the Swan annual conference (June 4th) in London at 5pm, travelling down to Dover. Each regional group is booking their own accommodation for one night, before sailing for France on the morning of the 5th June.

In the camp, we will work closely with Care4Calais. Some activists will assist in the warehouse, some will meet and take ‘life narratives’ from refugees, some will gather worker and volunteer stories. 

We will return from France at approx. 4pm French time, allowing all groups to travel home that evening. 

All gathered material will be collated for a Swan pamphlet, and will form part of a social work report that will be presented to the EU parliament.

Local groups are gathering donations in the form of money and material items. Please find attached a flyer from Care4Calais highlighting urgently required items for the week beginning 9.5.16. Be aware that their list is regularly updated.

For further information or to donate please contact and let us know where you are based. 

Nominate Yourself For Our Steering Committee 2016/17

The annual conference marks election time, and this year voting will take place online, opening on June 4th. During the following two week period, members will be able to vote for those who have nominated themselves by:

  • sending a 50 word description of themselves to Michael Lavalette, the national convenor, at
  • agreeing to the expectations of participation in the steering committee.

We aim to have 12 meetings a year, 11 via teleconference and 1 face to face.

Steering Committee members should be prepared to take on a ‘steering’ role – create or involve yourself in national campaigns on behalf of Swan, raising our profile nationally and locally. Members make use of their particular area of knowledge, interest or experience and learn from others. 

Members should be involved in an existing or creating a new local Swan group.

Alternatively, steering committee members can represent a recognised user or carer group and work to raise Swans profile within that setting.

Shape Swan. Nominate yourself for election. 


FULL LIST OF SPEAKERS – One Day Conference June 4th




Dr Michael Lavalette on the government’s PREVENT policy.

Social Work Without Borders, a new initiative creating solidarity between social work and refugees and migrants.

Social Work First on taking social work skills to Calais’ refugees.

Movement for Justice on fighting the scapegoating of refugees and migrants. 



Dr Terry Murphy on the privatisation of social work’s education framework.

Helen Davies, both a practitioner and a UNISON campaigner in Barnet, facing total service privatisation.

Tom Robinson, a student at the University of Sussex on the removal of student bursaries and the moving into practice.



Denise McKenna on the Mental Health Resistance Network

Jeremy Weinstein,  therapist/counsellor, on the Mental Health Charter offering a blueprint for solidarity, resistance and change in the face of a massive health crisis in the UK. 

Dr Peter Beresford, author of  “All Our Welfare: Towards Participatory Social Policy” and a user of mental health services.