B I L L B A D H A M
I came into social work through commitment to social justice, advocacy and support to those in difficulty. After qualifying in 1984, I worked in a community-based probation team in Nottingham, England, developing social action groupwork in prisons. Then with the Children’s Society, I ran a Children’s Centre, developing community social work and supervising social work students which I still do. I helped pioneer the voluntary sector MA specialism on Nottingham University’s social work course, lectured and published on social work, groupwork, the voluntary sector, youth offending, community development and young people’s participation. 35 years on, I remain passionate about and involved in community empowerment and social work practice.
I chose Bicycle because …
… it has accompanied me every step of the way through 35 years of social and community work practice. Lashing my trusty steed outside Nottingham Crown Court and stripping off soaking layers before being allowed entry to present before a judge, turning up to prisons near and far and locking up to a railing, cycling round the estates making home visits, getting knocked off my bike and then defending the driver in court, carrying laptops and projectors across cities for policy and conference presentations, turning up to community meetings and diving into the loo to get out of lycra before causing grief and consternation!
Too often the social worker is the aloof outsider, distant, remote, living in another world to that of those they work with and make crucial decisions about. The bike breaks down some of those barriers. You get to know the area rather than drive through it. The park, the corner shop, the places young people hang out – the fabric of the community you serve impresses itself. Who said that “revolution will only arrive on a bicycle?” Well this social worker certainly has arrived in many varied places on his bike and hopes to continue to do so.