J O   B U R G E S

38 Jo Gooderham   38 Sandals

While I’m not, and never have been, a social work professional, social work has been a significant part of my life. My parents adopted a little girl when my brother and I were very young and then went on to do short-term fostering for over 25 years. Social workers were regular visitors to the house and became part of the fabric of our family life. As an adult I went into publishing and spent many years building up a list of professional social work books (Arena), many of which are still in print despite the fact that the imprint itself closed.


I chose Sandals because …

… of something that happened while I was commissioning those social work books. The company I worked for also published professional business and management books and when a new commissioning editor for that list joined the company we ended up sharing an office. We became close friends – so much so that years later she was able to confess that when she knew she was going to be sharing an office with someone who commissioned social work books she had imagined me in flowing skirts and leather sandals! That stereotypical image has stayed with me and always makes me smile. As someone who had grown up being used to being around social workers it came as a surprise that someone could genuinely think this is how they dressed. On a more metaphorical level the sandals also represent the miles that I know social workers go (both physically and in terms of effort) to deliver the best service they can for their clients, often in the face of incredible difficulties. And, though the phrase is ‘never judge a person until you have walked in their moccasins’, I think it could be nicely adapted for sandals!

I feel very privileged to have met so many dedicated professionals, both while I was growing up and in my publishing career; they have helped to shape my view of the world.

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