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Brunel students and staff at the Social Work Action Network annual conference, 2018.

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MA Social Work students, Sophie Spilsbury and Yousuf Rafiudin were joined by lecturer Mike Thomas at the Social Work Action Conference (SWAN) 2018 at the University of Essex.  The theme of this year's conference was, “Whose side are we on? Social Work, Austerity, Racism and Resistance!” 

The conference brought together social work practitioners, students, academics and service users from across the UK and beyond to consider the challenges facing social work in the context of austerity, inequality and the rise of political populism. 

Peter Beresford, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at Brunel University London, spoke at a plenary session on inequality in housing and social care, and students attended workshops on a number of topics including user involvement in Social Work, relationship-based practice, the refugee crisis in Europe, and racism in higher education

Reflecting on his time at the conference, Yousuf said it had been a, "priceless experience to be able to hear from experienced professionals from various backgrounds discussing a range of topics relevant to social work but also being able to share an event with people who have a similar passion for making a difference in other people’s lives."

Sophie commented, "Swan is a great place to make new friends and to build a network of people with similar interests and passion. It is refreshing to hear fellow social workers have a voice, and talk up about what they believe in and what isn’t right about our current services..".

You can read Sophie's and Yousuf's reports on the SWAN conference here

Find out about the MA in Social Work at Brunel University here: