Rebecca Joy Novell

The creation of a charity, from the very beginning.


At University, my Nanna asked me what I wanted to do once I finished my Social Work Masters.
I responded: ‘Well, Nanna. I just want to help people. Fight for good, you know? Make the world a fairer, happier place.’
To which she replied: ‘… and how much does that pay?’

I suppose that’ll teach me to be less pretentious.

At the age of 14 I decided I was going to be the CEO of Barnados (Martin Narey, I was after you!) and this shaped my decision to study History and Politics at the University of Sheffield followed by a Masters in Social Work. My long term aim has always been to create something that will benefit the most vulnerable in society. Poverty, crime, feminism, social justice, human rights, sexual exploitation and forgiveness are themes that swill around in my head on a daily basis.

This blog was started as a way of recording my journey. When I began writing it, I specified that it would tell the story “from the very beginning of the forming and founding of a new charity” because that is where I believed I was heading. However, the blog has become more than that. It has become the place where I off-load about Social Work, social justice and personal struggles. The long term goal is still the same as the one I told my Nanna, but as I grow, the destination becomes less clear. Whether it be creating a charity, working in policy or something completely different altogether, I believe there is no greater work than helping others and I am excited to see where this journey takes me.

– – –

“In order to be loved and love others well,
the requirement is not to be flawless,
but rather to share scars and tears with courage
and find in doing so that
brokenness can be beautiful.”

– – –

Rebecca Joy Novell is a Qualified Social Worker working in central London. She graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2012 with a Masters in Social Work. Rebecca has been involved with Youth Justice since 2008 in a variety of voluntary and paid roles and is currently undertaking a PHD in Criminal Justice. In 2010 she was elected to the Professional Assembly for The College of Social Work, is part of the Criminal Justice Reference Group for the British Association of Social Workers and regularly blogs for The Guardian’s Social Care Network. She is also the author of Starting Social Work: Reflections of a Newly Qualified Social Worker.

She regularly writes online and her articles can be found here:

Her book is available here, as well as at Waterstones and Amazon:

6 comments on “About

  1. Sheffield

    Good luck! You can do it!

  2. Matthew Gibson

    Wow, I wish you the best with it.

  3. Norman Perrin

    It can be done. I did it – at 50! Good luck.

  4. MaryB

    Hi Rebecca,

    Is it possible to have your personal email address so I can email you. Am thinking of doing an MA in Social Work and I need some advice on what to expect.
    I would be very grateful if I can email you to pick your brains.



  5. Alex

    My name is Alex and I just had a quick question about your blog. Please email me back at your earliest convenience!

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