There for You is UNISON’s unique charity, set up to help members in difficulties – and this year, the COVID-19 crisis is making life harder for many of our already-stretched members.
Because more of you are struggling, There for You has set up a special fund to respond to calls for help needed especially because of the pandemic, with £250,000 set aside to help members.
Carol Sewell is a trustee for the charity – and a member of the union’s national executive council.
She explains that, for a number of weeks, a team including herself and head of welfare Julie Grant, have been looking “at how we can support our members in this time of need,” adding: “We need to ensure we’ve got money that can support people immediately.”
There for You receives donations, but at present, branches are finding that more difficult. For instance, Carol says, “branches can’t operate normally. A cheque might need two signatories and the lockdown makes that really difficult for one person to do.
As a trustee, her background working for the local benefits office helps. “When someone asks you for help, they’re desperate,” says Carol, so she’s behind this new fund 100%.
“It makes me so happy that we can support people.”