As a proud graduate of London Met, it was a particular privilege to be invited to the production of ‘Sold’ as one of my first ‘in-person’ events in my new job with Social Work England as Regional Engagement Lead for the London region.
It was great to meet social work students and staff at London Met and it also took me down memory lane as I returned to the university many years
after I first arrived as a new social work student in 1998. The performance was emotional and emotive, helping me to feel and understand the
experiences of slavery on a visceral level but also to better appreciate and reflect on the impact of intergenerational trauma that is experienced by
those affected directly by slavery. Our society does not and should not move on from acknowledging the impact of slavery, still evident today. It also
helped me to reflect on and understand the way which histories are taught and understood in the UK. I did not know Mary Prince’s story before I watched the play and that made me reflect on the way I had learnt and the enormous gaps in my knowledge. Following my attendance at the
play, I actively choose to read much more about the impact of slavery directly but also on the role that Empire played and how that impacts the experiences of race and racism in society today.
My training at London Met has allowed me a wonderfully rich social work career but the foundations of a career in social work, whichever
directly one takes, is based in the fundamental desire to drive for social justice. For me, this play and the issues around it, brought this home to
me and ensured that I examine my own attitudes, assumptions and ignorance and that the right for equity, equality and human rights never ends.
I feel fortunate to have had a varied career in social work, from my first job after I qualified, in adult services in Tower Hamlets, through to working in
Islington in adult and then mental health services.
After training as an ASW (and then AMHP), as well as a Best Interests Assessor, I returned to London Met to train as a practice educator and being able to support students in their early steps into a social work career was always reinvigorating but I have also worked within forensic services and was an inspector at the Care Quality Commission for many years. In talking through where my career has taken me, I just wanted to emphasise what
pathways your social work training can take you in. There is no ‘one’ way to do social work and you never quite know where it will lead you, but I can
say, without doubt, deciding to study Social Work at London Met (or the University of North London as it was at the time) was the best decision I ever made in my life, and I look forward to many further visits to my old habitat!