Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship based approaches in social work


Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship-based approaches in Social Work

GAPS National Conference 2020 – “Social Work, Identity and a Sense of Belonging”


Fri 9th October 2020


Online via Zoom


9.30am - 1.30pm




Lemn Sissay, Juliet Koprowska, Liz Reilly, Katharne Scanlan

We are really excited to announce our keynote speaker this year

Lemn Sissay

We have invited Lemn to our National Conference to speak to our theme of Identity and a Sense of Belonging.

The GAPS 2020 National Conference will be an online event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. GAPS conferences offer a space to connect and recuperate, and form new relationships with like-minded colleagues. The programme of activities is designed to allow you to do just that.

The conference theme is Social Work, Identity and a Sense of Belonging which lends itself to a collaborative format. Our keynote speaker will start the day with a talk exploring the theme and there will be an opportunity for Q&A. The event will draw on the thoughts and ideas of those attending, so this year we are making a special request to you in advance of the conference:-

What does identity and a sense of belonging mean to you? We would like you to bring something along, an object, a piece of writing or maybe a photo, that to you tells a tale or represents something of a sense of belonging or identity. There will time to consider and share these objects on the day. We hope this has set your mind whirring.

If you feel inspired to share something with the conference widely, perhaps a poem or a video that speaks to this this theme, we’d be delighted to hear from you in advance of the conference.

Reflective discussion groups are an integral part of GAPS conferences – and this year we will work in virtual breakout rooms where everyone can take part in a smaller discussion before returning to the main session.

An online event offers different opportunities, not least the fact that it will be within reach of all GAPS members and Social Work colleagues – no travel required! We will open up the online space at 9.15 so people can arrive early and chat over a coffee.

We very much hope that next year we will meet as we usually do and enjoy lunch together. However, there will be online spaces where we can eat lunch in small groups at the end of the formal event. There will be no charge for attendance.

We are really looking forward to the 9th October and we hope you can join us!

Programme format:

The formal activities will begin at 9.30, when GAPS Chair, Juliet Koprowska will open the event and introduce our keynote speaker. This will be followed by Reflective Discussion in Groups, and an opportunity for those groups to respond to our speaker with thoughts or questions when we join together again. There will be time for contributions from participants, and an update on GAPS activities from the staff and trustees. The conference will formally close at 1.30pm and those who choose can stay online to eat lunch together in groups. There will be comfort breaks during the main session.

Keynote Speaker

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay is a BAFTA nominated award winning writer, international poet, performer, playwright, artist and broadcaster. He has read on stage throughout the world: from The Library of Congress in The United States to The University of Addis Ababa, from Singapore to Sri Lanka, Bangalore to Dubai, from Bali to Greenland AND Wigan library.

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New voices for GAPS workshops

GAPS is excited to announce that we are looking to bring in new voices to deliver workshops and seminars over the coming year