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June 2020

Black Lives Matter

Like many, many others, all of us at Think Ahead have been deeply distressed by the murder of George Floyd and the events that have followed it. We have been taking the time to reflect, listen, and learn before adding anything to the discussion.

Racism is entrenched in our society and has a destructive impact on many people’s lives – including by damaging their physical and mental health.

We are fortunate to be part of the community of social work, a profession which is dedicated to challenging and addressing inequality and discrimination. No profession, community, or institution is free of racism. But we are inspired and humbled every day by social workers standing with and supporting individuals and communities. We have tried to support their efforts through our own work.

The devastating events of recent days, and the powerful response of the Black Lives Matter movement, have caused us to reflect on our shortcomings. Just as there is so much more that needs to change in society, there is so much more that we must do to be part of achieving that change.

We are going to review our work, looking for more and better ways to challenge racism and improve society. We will ask for more input from the groups who regularly support and challenge us on these kinds of issues, including our participants, our alumni, and our Service User and Carer Reference Group. We also welcome input from anyone who wants to contribute – please feel free to contact us on

We expect to tackle questions such as whether we have done enough to embed anti-oppressive practice in our training, and what more we can do to ensure our recruitment process is unbiased. And we expect to face questions that we haven’t anticipated, because we don’t know enough about the challenges or the possible solutions.

We stand with the Black Lives Matter movement, and we want to take action to support it. We are likely to make mistakes. But hopefully we can also make a positive difference.

Finally, we know that recent events will have taken a toll on many people’s mental health. If your mental wellbeing has been affected, do seek help if you need it. Mind’s support tool could be a useful starting point.