Trustees

The Trust is managed by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are either current or former social workers. They meet at least 3 times a year to consider applications and to manage the business of the Trust.


Stephen Bunford, Chair

Having qualified in 1986, Stephen has worked for 30 years in a local authority as a social work practioner and in a variety of management positions in adult services. He was instrumental in establishing an HIV/AIDS service and an adult safeguarding team as well as working closely with a number of government, academic and voluntary organisations. Throughout his career Stephen has promoted anti-discriminatory practice and a person-centred approach to social work. Stephen is currently an independent social worker specialising in adult safeguarding.


Jon Bolton

Jon is a consultant and trainer. He was previously a senior social work manager, a Workforce Development Adviser for the SSSC (the social service regulator and workforce development agency in Scotland), and a lecturer at the University of Dundee.


Fran Bunkall

Fran has been a qualified social worker for 20 years and has worked both in the statutory sector as well as the voluntary sector. She managed and led two Sure Start Children’s Centres which she thoroughly enjoyed.  She is currently a statutory social worker again and is triaging information regarding children and families within a local authority. Fran is also a qualified lifelong learning tutor and practice assessor and practice educator. 


Beverley Burke

Beverley is a Senior Lecturer in social work at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. She has practiced as a social worker with children and families and has published widely in the areas of anti-oppressive practice, values and ethics. Beverley is a member of the Editorial Board of the international peer-reviewed academic journal ‘Ethics and Social Welfare’.


Ian Ford

Following a career as an NHS senior manager, Ian qualified as a social worker in 2000 and worked as a social worker with care leavers and looked after children, and as an Education Welfare and Early Help practitioner, working mainly with special schools in a SE London borough. He now works as a freelance practice educator and independent social worker with an educational focus. His particular interest is neurodiversity.


Karen Hillison

Karen qualified as a social worker in 1986 and worked in a number of  statutory settings  with a range of service users, including childcare, adults and mental health/AMHP work. She then worked in Higher Education at the University of Hull for 18 years, first as a practice educator in a specialist student training unit, then later as placement co-ordinator. She has worked freelance since 2019, predominantly in training/practice education and as an independent assessor for a large fostering agency. Karen is passionate about social work practice education and staff development.


David Pitcher

Dave has been a trustee of SWET since 2011, having earlier received both a grant and a scholarship for his doctoral research on the relationship between adopted children and their grandparents. Dave’s field of practice is children and families, and he is currently working as a Family Court Adviser/ Children’s Guardian for Cafcass. He continues to do practice based research, and has just completed a study of the experience of Muslim young people in the care system.

Dave says: “Being part of SWET helps me to feel part of the wider social work profession. Just reading the applications is a masterclass in how many different situations social workers are involved in”.

Dave is the Applications Secretary, which means he is the one who sends out the cheques for the grants and scholarships.


Catherine Poulter

Catherine has been a trustee since 2011, having previously been awarded an Anne Cummins scholarship to support her research towards a Doctorate of Social Work into the experiences of older people of health and social care. She qualified as a psychiatric social worker in 1978. She has worked in local authority services in England and Wales and as a social care consultant in Zambia. Now retired, she continues with her research interests in social work and gerontology.


Deb Solomon

Deb qualified in 2018 and works in a generic Adult Care team. She is also a practice educator. Deb is the chair of the BASW Social Workers with Neurodiversity Special Interest Group and a member of BASW Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group and is working towards changing perceptions and raising awareness of neurodiversity’s in social care.