Bursary Programme

Background Information

The European Social Network (ESN) supports the active involvement of people using services in its activities and with it, in the development of social welfare policy and practice.

The service user movement has brought important developments in social welfare planning and delivery and represents a shift in the way social service provision is shaped.

Person-centred services and co-production of services are important changes which place the service users at the forefront of service planning and delivery rather than merely being considered a “beneficiary’. It is therefore important that this shift is reflected in how we work as a network for social services in Europe by actively involving service users in ESN’s activities.

The bursary programme supports the participation of people using services by giving them an opportunity to actively take part in high-level debates and discussions about social services issues, to learn from practices in other countries and to represent service users’ voices.




Who Can Apply?

Candidates should have “lived experiences’ as a user of social services – preferably in a professional or voluntary capacity – in areas such as service user advocacy, research, rights, best practice, service planning, social enterprise, etc.

Testimonials from Previous Participants

Attending the conference has given me the opportunities to network amongst delegates and be part of an event that sets agendas that are close to my heart. For my own work in the UK, the opportunity to contribute to agendas was very valuable. Thanks for asking me to be at the closing debate, which was something I hope my perspective added a dimension to.

Rich Amos

Trustee (Specialist Education and Social Care) / Physical Inclusion Network Gloucestershire (PING), UK


It’s been great having the chance to listen to all the imaginative and innovative ways to improve services.


Rita Long

Service User & Researcher, Lancaster University, UK

What the Bursary Offers

The bursary programme supports the participation of people using services to the ESSC2020:

  • Access to all the sessions of the 3-day ESSC2020 (8-10 July 2020) and the Nordic Day (7th July 2020).
  • Access to the lunches, coffee breaks and two evening events (Official Reception on 8th July and Gala Dinner on 9th July).
  • Reimbursement of travel costs to Hamburg (up to €300 per selected candidate).
  • Reimbursement of accommodation (3 nights per selected candidate and up to 360€).
  • Exemption of delegate fees.

How to Express Interest

By filling in the expression of interest form here (WORD form available here). Candidates will be selected based on the strength and merits of their expression of interest form. The bursary programme is available for a limited number of candidates.

Deadline for Application

10 May 2020, 23:59 (CET)


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