We are pleased to launch our bursary programme which covers the participation costs of a limited number of service users. If you are interested in this scheme, please read the information below and submit an expression of interest form by 27th April.


The European Social Network (ESN) supports the active involvement of service users 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 European Social Services Conference 2017 bursary programme supports the participation of service users 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.


The bursary programme is available for a limited number of candidates Candidates will be selected based on the strength and merits of their expression of interest form.

Candidates should have ‘lived experiences’ as a user – preferably in a professional or voluntary capacity – in areas such as service user advocacy, research, rights, best practice, service planning, social enterprise, etc. are eligible for the grant.

The bursary programme covers travel costs to Malta (up to €325 per candidate), accommodation (2 nights per candidate) and the delegate fee only. It does not cover any care costs or extra travel/transfer costs.

The conference is fully accessible and run in 5 languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian and German).

The bursary programme is financed by the European Social Network and the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).


Then you just need to complete the expression of interest form and return it to conference@esn-eu.org by 27th April.


“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