Live and Life

Community Care Live starts today. I expect attend a few of the workshops and plenaries that will be taking place. I wonder what a collective noun for social workers would be. I can’t think of many things that would be printable (so to speak!) but whatever it is (a gaggle, a gossip, a teapot, a biscuit tin?) , one would be able to find one in Islington over the next couple of days.

Being based in Central London anyway, I usually ask for the time to go and as there isn’t any expense involved (apart from time out of work) I’m given either a morning or an afternoon on one of the two days. This year, I decided to take the time off as annual leave so I don’t feel as constrained as the service time allows and anyway, I actually enjoy it (and am a bit behind on taking days off due to the amount of time I was on study leave).

I like learning more about what is planned on a national level as regards policy and it is usually good for that, it removes me sometimes from the day to day work to serve as a reminder of over-arching social policy issues.

I have generally positive experiences of going there – it’s quite fun to feel like you are in demand and ask about jobs in other local authorities and collect fistfuls of black biros, free ice cream, coffee, orange juice and of course, attend the workshops!

One year, I was actually manning my local authority’s stand and trying to convince hapless young (invariably) attendees to join our teams! It was quite fun although walking around in a T-shirt which advertised my place of work while trying to surreptitiously check out which other authorities had better jobs, got a bit sticky at times.

I expect to pen some thoughts on some of the sessions I attend over the next couple of days.

And I couldn’t let the day pass without casting a thought and prayer for Irena Sendler who died on Monday.

An example of true bravery and heroine in every sense of the world and someone who really exemplifies what Social Work is and should be about. It’s good to see through the paper-pushing sometimes and remember the ideals and purpose that led me here in the first place.

I’m slightly embarrassed that I had never heard about her until I saw the notices of her death but am comforted that there are hundreds of thousands of people ‘out there’ doing good things without expectation or wish for recognition but because it is ‘the right thing to do’.

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