Pavilion: 30 year anniversaryWe’ve just reached a significant milestone: the beginning of mature adulthood. We are now more confident and established in our life’s mission than ever before. We are 30 years old.

They say your 20s are all about experimenting and finding out who you really are. We’ve always known our calling: to inspire individuals to change lives.

Ever since the early days of Pavilion, when our HQ was in the original founder’s garage in a residential street in Hove, we’ve focused on raising standards, promoting best practice and supporting continuing professional development.

In 2008 we joined the OLM Group. After working closely together for years with shared goals, vision and values it was a natural fit. Being part of the OLM Group, who deliver intelligent technology and services to the care sector, we have been able to diversify with innovative approaches to the way we use technology to aid professional development and learning.

Perhaps one of the most significant changes in recent times was the end of the Mental Health Today and Learning Disability Today printed magazines - a decision that was a result of our changing times and the digitalization of information.

The silver lining is that both magazines still live on online and editor Dan Parton is still doing what he does best; raising awareness for the issues faced by individuals, families, carers and professionals within the learning disability and mental health sectors through high-quality journalism. (Dan is also involved in producing content for CareKnowledge, but more about that later.)

The digitalization of our training resources is something you will see a lot more of in the near future. After all, as a company we are part of the millennial generation: we’ve grown up with technological advances and the ability to access information from anywhere.

In true nostalgic anniversary style, we’ve compiled some highlights to share with you from the past 30 years of Pavilion Publishing and Media:


Our original founders, Brighton-based social workers Jan Alcoe and Chris Parker, believed there was a lack of high-quality, reliable and evidence-based training resources for social workers, so they launched Pavilion Publishing and Media to provide what they and their colleagues were missing.


Just over 10 years later we were entered for Meridian TV’s Business Awards, hosted by Carol Vorderman (this was a big thing in 1998!). Awards dinner, interviews, a panel of judges – it was a great achievement for a modest organisation whose mission was to improve professional development opportunities in the health and social care sector. We were honored to be recognised as runner up.

Late 90s to early 2000s

We hosted our very own annual Training Awards within the health and social care world, inviting individuals and organisations who had excelled in areas such as multi-disciplinary training and training delivered by service users to submit an application. They were asked to describe their project, submit examples, and demonstrate positive outcomes of the training. The award ceremony was held over lunch (in later years in the prestigious House of Lords). It was a great opportunity to thank and celebrate the staff, service users and carers who attended.


The turn of the century (that makes us feel old!) welcomed the launch of Learning Disability Today London, which is now the biggest inclusive learning disability conference and exhibition of its kind in the UK - something we’re extremely proud of. After the success of the London event we were able to bring the event to the north of England and run Learning Disability Today North in Sheffield. Marriage proposals, Radio 1 DJs and Gok Wan have been just some of the sightings at the events over the 16 years it’s been running. (P.S. This year’s event is in London on the 29th November and there are still a limited number of tickets to be had – get yours here.)


We started to work with Intensive Interaction practitioner, Phoebe Caldwell. Many of you with an interest in autism will know that Dr. Caldwell is one of the UK’s leading autism experts. Her methods combine using a person’s body language to communicate, with paying attention to those aspects of an individual’s environment that are triggering sensory distress. Since 2007 we’ve published six titles with Dr. Caldwell, including the bestselling The Anger Box (published 2014) and most recently Driving South to Inverness (published 2016), a beautifully written and thought-provoking memoir about a life's journey through the eyes of someone who’s made the transition into sheltered accommodation.


We joined the OLM Group.


Pavilion was joined by Keyways, publisher of journals in the health and emergency services sector. Most recently, in 2012, GM journal (previously Geriatric Medicine) joined our health portfolio.


Our dedicated online professional development resource for adult and children’s social workers, CareKnowledge, was refreshed with a brand new design, new features and improved user experience. We asked what social workers needed from CareKnowledge to help make their job easier, and we delivered it.


Social Care Now was launched, offering competitive prices on eBooks from our portfolio, aiming to help you reach your professional development goals within budget.

As you can see we’ve diversified, expanded and experimented throughout the years – never afraid to adapt in response to what our customers need. Because after all, it’s our customers we have to thank for the past 30 years.

In celebration of you and the work you do in social care, we’re asking you to share what makes your social care job so rewarding over on Twitter to be in with a chance of winning a £30 Pavilion voucher each week until 30 November. Head over to our Twitter page to find out how to enter.

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