It was a pleasure to be in King’s Lynn today at the opening of a new UNISON resource centre. Housed in a former social club on the site of Norfolk’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, it’s a testament to the dedication and hard work of the hospital’s branch secretary, Darren Barber.
Darren only became branch secretary at QE Hospital in 2012, but in the four years since, UNISON membership there has more than doubled from less than 400 to over 900 – supported by 20 UNISON stewards. He’s since become the regional convenor for Eastern region.
Darren was rewarded for his work with the TUC organising award in September, and rightly so, as he is a great example of what our union – and one person within it – can achieve.
The joint resource centre, which I was proud to officially open this afternoon, will allow UNISON members at the hospital (and others living and working in West Norfolk, whoever they work for) to access representation, admin and organising support.
UNISON branches sharing resources, sharing expertise, supporting each other as activists and branches making a financial commitment – this model stands us in good stead for the future.
Resource centres like this one are invaluable to the work of local branches and activists, and provide a visible representation of the work that we do standing up for UNISON members.
By making the branch and the union more visible in the workplace and the wider West Norfolk region, more members will be supported as we strive to deliver more for everyone within UNISON at these most difficult of times.
With people like Darren playing such a big role, and with resources like this one, our union can strive to do even more in the years ahead.