Frequently asked questions about SWAN Conference 2013


Q: What does the cost of the conference include? What about food and accommodation?

A: Cost of conference includes entry on both days of the conference, light refreshments at intervals throughout the event and lunch on Saturday. All other meals – at least at this stage in planning – will need to be purchased outside the conference venue. There are restaurants and supermarkets nearby at the Elephant & Castle Roundabout, Borough High Street and Borough Road for meals or food. The conference does not include the cost of accommodation. There is a list of accommodation on the SWAN website which suggests some reasonably priced hotels and hostels.

Q: What time does the conference start and finish?

Conference starts on Friday 12th April at 13:00. Registration and refreshments, however, are available from 11:00 – we would suggest you arrive at this time to allow yourself plenty of time to familiarise yourself with the layout of the London Road Building, where the conference takes place and to allow time to deal with any queries you may have. There will be a team of stewards to assist you. The conference will conclude on Saturday 13th April at 17:00 or soon thereafter.

Q: I cannot afford the cost of the conference due to personal circumstances, but wish to attend.

A: We do not wish the cost of the conference to be a barrier to participation – the network aims to host a welcoming, fraternal, accessible and democratic event. We are well aware of the impact of austerity: low-wages, unemployment, ‘underemployment’ and benefit retrenchment and their effect on many people’s lives and in particular those communities and individuals with whom social workers practice. Please email if you want to discuss such a situation.

Q: How do I get to the conference venue and find my way around?

A: The conference takes place at London South Bank University at Elephant and Castle, London. It is well served by buses and the underground network. It is also a short walk from London Bridge rail station (15 minutes) and Elephant and Castle rail station (5 minutes). We anticipate that most people will arrive by underground – NB: if this is the case for you, please follow the exits signposted to ‘South Bank University’ – it is easier to get to the venue from the Bakerloo line exit than the Northern Line. You may get lost if you leave by the Shopping Centre exit.

A general map of the London South Bank University campus can be accessed here:

The particular building where the conference takes place (with the exception of the conference social) is the London Road Building (100-116 London Road, SE1 6LN) – with the major lecture theatre where plenary sessions being ‘L17’:

Q: Can I exhibit or hold a stall at the conference?

A: SWAN is a radical grassroots network and our conferences are not commercial enterprises or environments. If your organisation would like to have a stall and is not-for-profit and related to radical or progressive social work, welfare or action please email swanconf2013 [at] for further information. We may allow social work and care publishers to add commercial flyers to delegates packs in order to fund the cost of the conference at our discretion – if you would like to discuss this, again please email the address above.

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We want to develop a network of service users, practicitioners, academics and students to support radical and progressive social work. We need a social work that is ready to challenge oppressive practice, that means working collectively across the country and internationally to advance Social Work.