After many months of effort, on Thursday 24th January we finally opened the doors for our first social work and care convention in London. With over 20 CPD workshops running throughout the day and the chance to network with some fantastic front-line services in our sector, this event had been a labour of love for our team and we were so excited to bring together everyone for a great day. And what a day it was!
From our very first attendee arriving just after 09:00 to fighting for the last slice of pizza at the ‘afterparty’, the London edition of Work and Care Together was an immense success. With 600 people through the door and around 100 or so representing different services in our exhibition, the convention was able to unite a substantial portion of the extended One Stop Social community for a great day of development and networking. Our workshops were absolutely packed with attendees who were engaging with the different topics enthusiastically and really making the most of the training available. It was very rewarding to see our practitioners discussing innovative ideas about how to move forward as a collective and ensure social work and care modernises with the times!
Even just in the few days since the event took place, our team have had brilliant feedback from both partners and ticket-holders on the value they found and how they enjoyed the workshops we coordinated. The Twitter-verse was ablaze with #WorkCareTogether on the day and we’re continuing to receive positive messages about the benefits felt of being able to access such high-quality training and networking for free.
We’d like to take this moment to extend a massive thank you to all the services who came together and made this event possible. Every single exhibitor and presenter is a valued member of our social work community, and we were proud to have them involved. Having West Sussex County Council on board as our Main Partners gave our attendees the chance to hear about how they’re raising the bar for how local authorities support their practitioners with their #stepthisway programme. Our 3 Sponsors also each brought intellectual insight and creativity to the event, to inspire our attendees. Care Sourcer kept us in steady supply of donuts throughout the day, as well as providing a new perspective on saving social workers time when arranging care. Hays Social Care were able to give a realistic look at the recruitment and employment process for practitioners; and their debate on ‘Working Effectively in Times of Austerity’ was definitely thought provoking. Last, and definitely not least, the team from Elder Live in Care showcased how they’re able to match carers to people in need of at-home care in a person-centred way. They also had some of the most in-demand branded sweets of the day!
On a personal level, we were really pleased to have the opportunity to actively discuss our new social work membership with front-line practitioners and get feedback on the genuine usefulness of the rewards and discounts we offer. We’ve developed OSS Membership for you, our community, and so to be able to hear how pleased you are about the resource providers we’ve partnered with or the enthusiasm for the personal discounts available in our rewards platform… it makes all the effort worthwhile!
Bringing our Work and Care Together conventions to our social work community in the capital city was an incredibly important step for us. We’ve always worked to support practitioners nationally, and so being able to be present in London and connect with so many professionals in person reaffirmed our drive to help develop our “one stop shop” for the sector and we’re really proud of the discussions that were able to take place on Thursday. This will definitely not be the last Work and Care Together event, and while our next may take us back above the North-South divide again, we know we’ll be back in London in no time!
If you were at Work and Care Together in London last week, then we want to hear from you! Let us know what you thought of the convention and where you think we could have done better. After all, these events are for you, so we want to make sure we’re providing the best platform for our community that we can.
Matt had this to say:
Well, what a fantastic day we had at our first Work & Care Convention in London! It was great to see, in all, over 700 practitioners in attendance. As most of you who’ve been following One Stop Social for a while know, I’ve been on a mission to promote the positive and excellent work social workers and care professionals do every single day. For me, this day epitomised the dedication our community has to supporting vulnerable people and developing good practice. I loved the chance to celebrate social work and care with everyone in London and look forward to seeing you all at our next Work and Care Together event!