Dr Hefin Gwilym

BA Wales, MA Wales, DipSW

Hefin Gwilym
Lecturer in Social Policy
01248 382509
Room 004, Neuadd Ogwen


I completed my bachelor degree followed by an MA, at the University of Wales, Swansea. Then I did my PGCE and later on attained my DipSW, from the University of Wales, Bangor. Recently, I have gained my doctorate from Keele University. My thesis is entitled: ‘The declared political identity of social workers in a neoliberal era’.

My past work includes research assistant in the Welsh Political Archive, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; working in the voluntary sector; working as a social worker in north Wales; and teaching social work in further education.

I joined the School of Social Sciences as a lecturer in social work in 2006 and became a lecturer in social policy in 2012.


I have recently completed my doctorate which explores the development of declared and enacted political identity amongst social workers through the use of a constructivist grounded theory and biographical interviews. My supervisors were Dr. Pat Chambers, Professor Farzana Shain and Dr. Damian Breen, School of Public Policy and Professional Practice, Keele University.

I’m currently writing two articles based on my thesis to be submitted to peer reviewed journals.


Book Chapters

Gwilym, H. (2011) Adult Social Services in Wales. In Williams, C. (ed) Social Policy for Welfare Practice in a Devolved Wales, Second Edition, BASW / Venture Press.

Gwilym, H. (2007) Adult Social Services in Wales. In Williams, C. (ed) Social Policy for Welfare Practice in a Devolved Wales, BASW / Venture Press.

Journal Articles

Gwilym H. (2017) ‘The Political Identity of Social Workers in Neoliberal Times’, Critical and Radical Social Work, 5 (1), 59-74.

Gwilym H. (2017) ‘The Political Biographies of Social Workers: A Qualitative Study of the Political Lives of Social Workers’, International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Business and Industrial Engineering, 11 (5), 1094-1097.

Krayer, A; Seddon, D; Robinson C & Gwilym, H (2015) ’Unfolding Lives - The Influence of Childhood Sexual Abuse on the Self from Adult Narrative Perspectives’,  Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 24 (2), 135-151.

Baker S., Gwilym H. & Brown B.J. (2011) ‘Trafodaeth Feirniadol o Gyfraniad Defnyddwyr Gwasanaeth at Addysg Gwaith Cymdeithasol yng Nghymru’, Gwerddon 8.

Gwilym, H. and Reimer, J. (2011) ‘Social Work in Wales und im Vereinigten Konigreich’, Sozialmagazin 36, 1/2011.

Baker, S., Brown, B.J. & Gwilym, H. (2008) 'The Rise of the Service User: Are Some Service Users More Equal Than Others?’ Soundings 40.

Gwilym, H. (2007) ‘Community Hospitals: A Solution to the Stigma and Dislocation of Acute Inpatient Hospital Admission’, Journal of Public Mental Health, 6 (1).

Gwilym, H. et al (2004) ‘A Community Treatment Paradigm for Serious and Enduring Mental Illness in North West Wales’, Mental Health Practice, l8 (1).

Articles in Peer Review Process

Gwilym, H. (2017)Advocating for Biographical Research in Social Work’, submitted to the British Journal of Social Work.

Gwilym, H. (2017) ‘The Political Biographies of Social Workers in a Neoliberal Era’, submitted to the Journal of Social Sciences.

Recent Conference Papers and Presentations

2017 ‘How Neoliberalism Undermined Working Class Institutions and why this is Linked to the Rise of Populism’, at the Social Policy Association Conference (SPA), Durham University, July.

2017 ‘Social Work: The Rise and Fall of a Profession: How Neoliberals Attacked the Working Class and their Institutions’, at the WISERD Annual Conference, Bangor University, July.

2017 ‘Civil Society and Social Welfare: Exploring the Role of Foodbanks in Wales’, Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), Seminar, Cardiff University, March.

2016 ‘Is Social Work an Inherently Political Activity?’ and ‘Social Work Political Biographies in Neoliberal Times’, at the International Partners Conference, School of Social Sciences, Georg Simon Ohm University of Applied Sciences, Nuremberg, Germany, November. 

2016 ‘Using the Social Sciences to Tackle Poverty’, ESRC Festival of Social Sciences Conference, Bangor University, November.

‘Poverty and the North Wales locality’, Local Stakeholders’ Conference: Mapping Food Poverty, Schools of Social Sciences and Environment, Natural Resources and Geography, Bangor University, March 2016.

*‘Food Banks and Boxes - the challenges of responding to different "wants" and "needs" for local food in Wales’, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2015, University of Exeter, September 2015.

‘Cynhadledd Credyd Cynhwysol: Chwyldro o fewn y Wladwriaeth Les’, Prifysgol Bangor a Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, Ionawr 2015.

‘Social Work, Social Workers and Political Identity: Reflections on a Research Project’, School of Social Sciences Seminar, Bangor University, May 2014.

*‘Food Boxes - a sustainable means of responding to local food demands and for meeting nutritional needs locally?’ Paper presented with colleagues, Institute of Science, Technology & Society Studies Conference, Graz, May 2014.

‘Different Worlds? Social Workers and Political Identity’, School of Social Sciences Research Day, February 2014.

‘Defining a Core Universal Social Work Identity for International Social Work,’ Social Work Without Borders: Building an International Community of Practice Conference, Lincoln University, January 2014.

‘Volunteer Engagement in Europe: Key Themes from an Erasmus Intensive Programme’, Conwy Council Conference, September 2013.

‘Biographies of Social Workers Who Have a Political Identity: Report on Research in Progress’, Wiserd Conference, University of South Wales, June 2013.

*With David Beck (Social Sciences), Dr. Eifiona Lane and Dr.Sian Pierce (Environment, Natural Resources and Geography)

Book Reviews

Belton, B. (2010) Radical Youth Work Russell House Publishing. In Social Work Focus, 2010.

Cree, V. & Myers, S. (2008) Social Work: Making a Difference, The Policy Press, Bristol. In: Journal of Social Work, 2009:9.

Moody, Harry R. (ed) (2005) Religion, Spirituality, and Aging: A Social Work Perspective. The Haworth Social Work Practice Press, New York. In: Journal of Social Work, 2007:7.

Mitchell, J.E. & Peterson, C.B. (eds) (2005) Assessment of Eating Disorders, The Guilford Press, New York. In: Journal of Social Work, 2008:8.


PhD Students

Lead Supervisor to David Beck MA, researching the changing face of food poverty.

Joint Supervisor for Charlotte Jones, researching applicants’ experiences of the Personal Independence Payment.

Joint Supervisor for Marc Lewis, researching integrated transport system in Wales and links to social welfare.

Joint supervisor for Rhian Lloyd, researching carers’ empowerment.


Undergraduate teaching

SXP2010 Poverty & Social Exclusion
SXU2115 International Experience Placement
SXU2130 International Experience
SXP3210 Issues in Housing
SXU2010 Dissertation Preparation
SXU3010 Dissertation

In development

SXP2060 History of Social Policy
SXP3220 The Politics of Welfare

Postgraduate teaching

SXP4037 Health Policies
SXU4016 Dissertation
SXW4001 Key Issues in International Social Work


Administrative Roles

Erasmus & International Coordinator for the School of Social Sciences

Subject lead for Social Policy

Member of the HE Social Policy Convenors’ Group