Mend the Gap Conference

Thursday 6 May 2021

10:00 -14:00 [Microsoft Teams]


Began at Lund University, Sweden, in 2005 this method of teaching aims to provide a platform where:

  • People in traditionally different positions of power can develop a mutual form of learning, on as similar terms as possible.

  • In 2009 a similar course began in Lillehammer University College, Norway.

  • In 2011, Shaping Our Lives took the lead in England and the PowerUs international partnership began.

  • First gap mending programme in the North East in 2015.

Gap-mending is an approach that enables students, practitioners, teachers, service users and researchers in social work to reflect upon what, in social work practice, increases, maintains or mends gaps between professionals and service user groups.

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership funded a number of research projects to look into five areas, at this conference today, you will hear from those projects and their outcomes as well as hear first hand from those with lived experience. 



10:00 -10:10

Welcome and Introduction

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership


10:10 -10:45

Keynote Address: Mend the Gap: A Powerful Vehicle for Learning and Development in Social Work Education and Social Work Practice.

Albert Moylan, Lead Researcher

Participation Research

Birmingham City University & West Midlands Social work Teaching Partnership

Public Speaker

10:45 -11:15

Impact of Mend the Gap (Direct payments) on Adult social work practice and teaching.  

Lorraine Currie, Mahuya Kanjilal and Beth Baker.

Shropshire Council and University of Wolverhampton

Female Speaker

11:15 -11:45

BCU Project: Citizen Group. Carers of people who have received a diagnosis of Learning Difficulties and/or Learning Disabilities. 

Birmingham City University Project 

BCU will be presenting an overview of their MtG Project – based on the Gaps identified, for Carers of People who are regarded as having a learning difficulty or disability. Some of the Plans developed to respond to these Gaps will be outlined. The BCU Project included 1 Facilitator,  5 Carers, 2 Social Work Practitioners, 4 Undergraduate Social Work Students and 2 Social Work Academics. Each main group involved in this project will give their own account of what they gained from participation.  

Conference Speaker

11:45 -12:15

Adults with Learning Disabilities in a Community Setting

Sarah Jacklin Local Area Co-Ordinator, Adult Learning Disability and Transition Team Adult Social Care and Health & Christian Bellis, Student Social Worker

Cheshire East Council

12:15 -12:45


Motivational Speaker

12:45 -13:15

Mending the gaps for carers in the social work curriculum.

This project explored perspectives within carer’s needs relating to the impact on family, finances and professional support.

Keele University and Staffordshire University.

Colleagues Working Together

13:15 -13:45

Future social workers: Learning from people with lived experiences  

Maqsoodah Ashraf (Mac), Head of Social Work

University of Wolverhampton


13:45 -14:00

Summary and Close

The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership

*Programme details are subject to change and all participants will be made aware of any changes. 

**Programme will continue to evolve, look out for further updates on new sessions and speakers.