Swan Dundee: Nov 10th – Why Should You Join A Trade Union?


Union organisers Arthur Nicoll and Lorcan Mullen will offer a brief history of the movement, outline what is happening locally and nationally as well as how it relates to the social work profession. Unions are demonised in the media and many, since the era of Thatcher, are unsure of their role or usefulness. Come join the debate. Open to all, University of Dundee at 16.00-17.30pm. Dalhousie Room 1G10. 


Barnet On Strike Over Library Closures


On Saturday, a day of action has been called which includes Barnet Unison workers going on strike over the destruction of their library facilities. Unaccompanied children under 15 will be banned from library spaces, and there are no toilet facilities – so don’t think about staying for any length of time. Staff are being replaced by technology and when things go wrong they face increasing levels of verbal abuse. Free activities for parents, learners and older people are under threat, and access to the internet or reading will even more be something those without money cannot afford to do.

Support the strike action: Barnet Unison Nov 5th

Social Work Without Borders: Update on Calais


“The Assessments undertaken in the Calais Camp were Best Interests Assessments which were designed by Social Workers Without Borders (formerly Social Work First).

The request to undertake these assessments was made by Duncan Lewis Solicitors, who were making a last ditch attempt to force the government to abide by the Dubs Amendment, and safeguard the children in the camp.

We do not require volunteers for Calais at present, due to the demolition which is taking place. However, what we need to do going forward is for volunteers to be involved in helping us establish Social Workers Without Borders as an international organisation of social workers, responding to refugee crises by ensuring that children do not just remain a statistic.

We want to know who they are, where they are and what is happening to them. We want to push governments to accept these assessments and meet the needs of these children. We also want to support those who are displaced by war and poverty and campaign for a humanitarian response as a basic right.

We are organising an online forum for these ideas and further projects to be developed, so we will continue to need social workers. We wish to continue to promote this radical professional activism.”

 For more information please visit:

SWWB facebook group here or email an enquiry to Lynn King at swwb@tutanota.com

Closing A Highly Successful Children’s Congenital Heart Centre: Money Before Life

The East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre is ear-marked for closure. The outcomes for this centre, at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester, are amongst the best in the country. THIS IS NOT A FAILING UNIT. This unit is thriving. NHS England is putting input before outcomes, and the closure will leave East Midlands as the only region without its own unit, and no provision for the eastern side of England between Newcastle and London.
This information and petition needs to be spread far and wide as the Leicestershire centre is only one of three units earmarked for closure across the country. It will have a knock on effect on all patients nationwide. Consider this: if Leicestershire/Notts patients have to go to Birmingham, there may not be enough beds for Birmingham babies, who then find they have to travel elsewhere.  
So far over 32,622 people from all over the country have signed our petition. Each week the number is slowly creeping up, but we need to reach the 100,000 signatures required for a debate in Parliament. If you have not done so already, please sign this petition and share with your family, friends and colleagues:
You will be required to confirm your signature by clicking an email sent to your inbox – don’t miss this step to ensure your participation is logged! 
SWAN recognises the need for solidarity across all professions and sectors of society, if we are to resist the onslaught of privatisation dismantling our welfare state. 

SHAPING OUR LIVES – National Network of Service Users and Disabled People

SWAN is lucky enough to have Peter Beresford once again sitting on our steering committee for 2016-17. Peter brings with him experience of using services and his tireless efforts to change disability and mental health social policies. He is a co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, a user-led network that sets the standard on inclusive involvement. It is a network that all those involved in social work should be aware of and engaged with. 

Click here to learn more.