Conference Bursary Programme

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Conference Bursary Programme

The European Social Network is once again offering a bursary programme to cover the conference participation costs for a limited number of people using social services or with experience supporting the delivery of care or social services.

Interested? Please read the information below and submit an expression of interest form.
Applications will be decided on a rolling basis, so apply early. The deadline for expressions of interest will close on 1 May 2023.

About the Conference Bursary Programme

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

Who can apply?

Users of Social Services

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 people using social services 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 people using social services in ESN’s activities.

The European Social Services Conference 2023 bursary programme supports the participation of people using social 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 people using social services’ voices.

People involved in the delivery of social services

People working at the forefront of delivering social services should play an active role in the conversation surrounding the development of social care and services. Too often decisions are made through a top-down approach. The European Social Services Conference would like to support the participation of volunteers, advocates, and front-line professionals in these important discussions. 

Young Social Entrepreneurs

The European Social Services Conference aims to foster innovation in social services. The bursary fund, therefore, is also set up to support the next generation of entrepreneurs in the area of social care and social services. The ESSC would like to provide the opportunity to young social entrepreneurs to attend the conference and contribute to the discussion about the future of social services.


  • The bursary programme is available for a limited number of candidates who would otherwise not have the financial means to attend the Conference.
  • Candidates will be selected based on the strength and merits of their expression of interest form.
  • Candidates should have ‘lived experiences’– 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 Malmö (up to €300 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).


Complete the expression of interest form and return it to by 1 May 2023.

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

Past events