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16 March 2015
Alan Johnson, MP came to North Kensington today (Monday 16 March) to take part in World Social Work Day. He met some social workers including students on the ground breaking ‘Frontline’ programme; and spent several hours shadowing them to get a better idea of what they have to do.
Mr Johnson was born and bred in North Kensington and has experience of social workers from the Royal Borough, having being brought up by his sister from the age of 12 following the untimely death of his mother. Indeed Alan Johnson’s experiences with his social worker (Mr Pepper) led him to describe him as an “an absolute hero” who fought to keep brother and sister together.
From the challenging start of his life Alan Johnson went on to pass the 11-plus exam and attended Sloane Grammar school in Chelsea, now part of Pimlico Academy. Leaving school at the age of 15 he then stacked shelves at Tesco before becoming a postman at 18 where he joined the Union of Communication Workers, becoming a branch official.
He joined the Labour Party in 1971 and became a full-time union official from 1987. He became General Secretary of the union in 1992.
Before entering parliament Johnson was a member of Labour's National Executive Committee.
Also at the event was Andrew Christie, Executive Director of Children’s Services, who said: “I was delighted to meet Alan Johnson and would like to thank him for coming. I think his story can be an inspiration not only to those who have to go through the social care system but also the social workers who work in it. People can go on to achieve almost anything with a bit of support and luck, even becoming a Cabinet Minister and holding one of the great offices of state, such as Home Secretary”.
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