UNISON there for you

there for youThere for you (UNISON Welfare) is UNISON's own registered charity offering a unique confidential service supplying advice and support just for UNISON members and their families.

Financial Advice: If you are a member and you are experiencing financial difficulties, whatever the circumstances, There for You can offer you support.

Wellbeing Breaks: Wellbeing breaks can provide welcome relief from stress and respite from difficult circumstances. We can help you towards the costs of a break, depending on your financial situation.

General advice: There for You provides a confidential service for members over the phone or in person if you are experiencing personal difficulties.

UNISON Debtline: The service is available to all our members to help you manage money and deal with debt. We offer free confidential advice to help you clear your debts.

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Branch Welfare Officers

A branch welfare officer is a member who has volunteered to be the local representative of There for You. They are often the contact person for There for You staff at national office.

Local branch welfare officers are the first point of contact for members who are experiencing personal, emotional or financial difficulties, or for those who need advice. They also help members apply for help or funding.

Branch welfare officer responsibilities
It is the branch welfare officer’s responsibility to:

  • inform branch officers, stewards, workplace representatives and employers about the work of There for You;
  • make sure that members seeking welfare assistance receive a quick and effective response;
  • link their regional regional welfare committees and There for You to ensure that welfare support is provided effectively;
  • develop and implement local welfare activity;
  • develop links with local charities and organisations.

Becoming a branch welfare officer
If you are a member who wants to be a branch welfare officer, you need good listening skills and the ability to empathise without being judgmental. There for You provides training to equip branch welfare officers with the skills they need for the role.

A two-day training course, paid for by the member’s branch, helps welfare officers to:

  • understand their role and the confidentiality it involves;
  • learn about UNISON Welfare;
  • develop influencing and communication skills;
  • promote welfare to managers;
  • improve presentation skills;
  • learn to handle problems assertively.

There is also an initial online training course for potential branch welfare officers to take. Members who have been elected as a branch welfare officer can apply to attend a course.