Guest speaker Carol Sewell addressed Black members’ conference this afternoon, haring her own inspiring story and encouraging members to “be the best you can be” in UNISON.
The former vice president told how she was born in Oldbury in the West Midlands and, after finishing her education, went to work in local government.
There, she joined Nalgo, one of UNISON’s three predecessor unions. In 1998 she became a rep and later, her branch’s equalities rep: “You know what it’s like – Black face; you can do equalities”, she quipped.
Ms Sewell stressed how much she has always enjoyed the learning opportunities that UNISON offers, together with the opportunity to serve the union on the presidential team.
“You can do it if you all put your mind to it,” she told conference.
“Stay true to yourself and never show weakness.”
And she told delegates: “organise, recruit, listen. Be the best that you can.”
Urging delegates to grow and develop in the union, she observed that UNISON provides the tools to help them do that. Ms Sewell told them: “If there is a barrier, jump over … bring others along with you.”