UNISON Welfare, There for You

We are all living through an overwhelmingly challenging time at the moment. One that’s affecting all of us in many different ways.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown our daily lives upside down and, whether on the frontline or not, UNISON members have been coping with huge amounts of stress over the past two years.

A UNISON survey found that 48% of members working in health sectors are struggling to cope. Fear, worry and stress are all survival responses to situations of threat and uncertainty – so it’s understandable that so many people are having a difficult time.

UNISON is always here to help its members. For those suffering with difficulties as diverse as bereavement, sickness, addiction, job loss, debt, domestic abuse or worries about putting food on the table, UNISON has stepped up over the past year to help as many people as possible access the support they need.

The welfare section of UNISON’s website features a directory of useful contacts, listing dozens of charities and helplines that can support members with a wide range of support needs – from gambling to stillbirth.

UNISON’s welfare branch ‘There for You’ provides emergency grants and support for any members in financial hardship. UNISON’s debtline can also provide advice for members who are struggling to manage their debt.

For UNISON Inverclyde members, the first point of contact for welfare support is the Branch Welfare Officer, Kathleen McLean.

Kathleen says “There’s so much support out there that isn’t advertised. As a welfare officer, I’m here to help. I’m not judging, and I don’t fill out any forms. The member is always in complete control of the conversation and if they want to stop the chat, then it stops.”

“It’s confidential and no information gets stored anywhere, and usually I follow up the conversation with an email that links to loads of resources that they may find helpful.

“People struggle at work for many reasons. They might be going through a break-up that’s badly affecting them or have just had their hours cut and are worried about money.“

“I know there are so many people who need the help who might not be asking because of pride, but there is so much support out there. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone.”

For further information please visit UNISON There for You website or contact the Branch office.

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