Your Welfare Officer is

Bill Salter

 

Mobile: 07946273337

 

Office: 02920746935

 

e-mail: Bill.Salter@wales.nhs.uk

Dear Colleague

 

We're pleased to announce that members can once again apply online to the CoVid Response Fund.  By way of reminder, members who are in financial difficulties as a result of CoVid could be eligible for a grant of up to £500.

 

The application process is straightforward however anyone who cannot apply online can email covidgrantenquiries@unison.co.uk and we will arrange for a form to be posted to them.

 

There will be many who are struggling at this present time and in need of help.  We would therefore appreciate if you could do all you can to ensure your members are aware of the help that is available. We will also be carrying out various promotion activities over the coming weeks. 

 

Please also remind members who are completing applications to ensure they include relevant supporting documents to avoid any delays to their application.

 

For more information go to: https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/services-support/there-for-you/financial-assistance/ 

 

Kind regards

 

UNISON There for You

 

 

Maggie Newell

Support Service Team Leader

 

Tel: 020 7121 5623

E-mail: m.newell@unison.co.uk

Fax: 0207 121 5552

Web: www.unison.org.uk/thereforyou

Our COVID response fund – helping members through the pandemic

UNISON’s There for You charity is reopening the COVID-19 response fund to help members who are struggling as a direct result of coronavirus

It’s been a tough year for people right across the world, as COVID-19 has swept around the globe – and with no sign of it disappearing any time soon.

UNISON members have been among those facing the daily battle with the pandemic – not just in their work keeping our vital services going, but also on a personal and domestic front.

There for You is UNISON’s unique welfare charity and, in the summer, introduced a new fund to help members who were struggling financially as a direct consequence of the new coronavirus.

The first round of the COVID-19 response fund ran from May to July and distributed over £250,000 in grants to individual members in financial difficulty due to the pandemic.

Such grants have made a massive difference.

Carol (not her real name) is a paediatric nurse who lives with her partner and three school-age children in their own home in the North West.

When lockdown came, she found herself working longer hours, while her partner was furloughed on 80% of his usual pay.

“Bills went up – the shopping bill increased a large amount,” she explains.

“One thing built up on top of the other. Spending on the food and the kids as my partner tried to occupy them at home … extra cooking and washing too.”

Although her own earnings had increased slightly with the additional work, Carol’s transport costs had also risen, adding further pressure to the household budget.

She’d worked to reduce her credit card bills and the family’s energy supplier “gave me a payment break on bills – it was good they did that, but then the bills went up by £40-50 a month” after the payment break ended.

Then there was the council tax bill.

As if all that wasn’t enough, the family washing machine packed in.

Stress and worry

“I felt like I was going under,” she says. “I was so stressed … it just felt like it was going to get worse and worse.”

It was then that Carol saw from a UNISON email that, as a member, she could apply for one of the special COVID grants. She downloaded an application form and sent it off. That took care of the washing machine – and further grants lifted the pressure off with the energy bills and council tax.

“I was really grateful for the help,” says Carol, adding that it meant a great deal.

After lockdown eased, it was “nice when we could go out as a family again” – particularly for all of them to enjoy taking the family dog for a walk together.

But as regional and local lockdowns and restrictions have come back into play, Carol and her family – like so many others – face new difficulties. When she spoke to UNISON, her partner was back at work, but one of the children had been sent home from school because another pupil had tested positive for the virus.

Knowing that Carol is not alone and that many of our members face a difficult winter – and thanks to generous donations from UNISON and the CHSA (the COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal*) – the charity is now delighted to be announce it will re-open its COVID-19 response fund on 16 November.

Grants of up to £500 will be made to help members in financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus. Grants can support with day-to-day living costs: for example, if you or your partner are furloughed or shielding and relying on statutory sick pay.

They can help you through loss of employment due to redundancy or loss of working hours or a second job, or towards housing costs like rent, mortgage or council tax arrears that have accrued since March.

Online applications will open on 16 November and can be accessed here – make a date in your diary to apply, as we expect this limited fund to be in high demand.

*CHSA (COVID-19 Healthcare Support Appeal) is a time-limited charity that is making grants to organisations helping frontline healthcare workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Grants are available to organisations helping individuals impacted directly as a result of COVID-19, either facing financial hardship or struggling with mental health related issues.

Welfare Newsletter Dec 2020.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [954.3 KB]
Posted on 

Worried about your finances? UNISON can help

UNISON can offer a range of financial assistance for members – ranging from specific COVID-19 grants to debt advice, benefits advice and winter fuel grants

Read the latest Unison Welfare Newsletter here:

 

Welfare Newsletter Dec 2020.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [954.3 KB]
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COVID-19 response fund
 
Save the date: COVID-19 support grants
 

The There for You COVID-19 response fund reopens soon to help members in financial difficulty with grants of up to £500. Online applications open on 16 November at www.unison.org.uk/thereforyou, so save the date. We expect this limited fund to be in high demand.

 
Read about the impact our grants make
 
Visit the There for You page
 

Unison Welfare News Letter

There for you newsletter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [500.3 KB]

Coronavirus: UNISON helping members financially

UNISON’s dedicated welfare charity is still operating during the current health crisis and is asking branches for financial support

UNISON is responding to the national coronavirus crisis by offering practical help to members experiencing financial hardship.

Staff at the union’s dedicated charity, There for You, are seeking to reassure members that they are still offering a service to them.

And UNISON branches should divert all welfare support requests to There for You, so that there is one, consistent process at this time.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “The union would like to be as flexible as possible. However branches should not be setting aside or establishing their own welfare funds for this purpose, as this could lead to some confusion for our members on how to seek support.”

And branches must also remember not to use industrial action funds or property funds to finance hardship – this is not permitted.

Mr Prentis added: “These are unprecedented times, so that’s why I’m asking all branches to consider making a donation to support our charity There for You.

“Members need our help right now – your donation could make a huge difference to so many lives.”

Helping members

The team at There for You is fully committed to providing a complete service throughout the current crisis. The charity remains open and fully operational. 

However, some adjustments on how things normally work may be necessary:

  1. Wherever possible, please scan all applications for financial assistance and supporting paperwork and send to  thereforyou@unison.co.uk.  This will ensure there are no undue delays in processing an application.
  2. If you find yourself unable to support members due to work, family or other pressures, a reminder that members can apply directly with an application form without going through the branch.
  3. If you are dealing with an emergency situation – either linked to COVID-19 or other financial pressures – and your member has no money at all,  call 020 7121 5620. During these unprecedented times, members can apply to us directly for an emergency payment.
  4. If your enquiry concerns an existing case, please in the first instance email thereforyou@unison.co.uk quoting the relevant case number.  Our aim is to get back to you within 2-3 working days at the very latest.

If you require advice and/or are unsure if someone would be eligible for support, call 020 7121 5620 or email thereforyou@unison.co.uk.

When phoning, callers will be asked to leave a message. In emergency situations, we aim to be in touch on the same or next day.

Please regularly check your mailbox (including junk folder) and the UNISON website for further updates in the event that new measures are introduced.

Forms are downloadable from There for You online.

UPDATE: In the light of government guidance, we have taken the decision to suspend our Wellbeing Breaks programme.  For this reason any application already submitted will be held pending a change in government advice.

We would appreciate if branches could advise members that regretfully we cannot consider any Wellbeing Break requests at the present time. All other requests will still be considered and processed as quickly as possible.

UNISON helps with the cost of winter heating
UNISON is the only union with a welfare charity for members – There for You. And There for You is currently helping with the cost of winter fuel bills.
Find out more
Final Winter Fuel Grant Q and A 2018 19.[...]
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Final Winter Fuel Grant Application Form[...]
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Debtline support

 

 

Dealing with debt

Debt can cause a great deal of stress in your life. A small change in circumstances can turn a manageable situation into a debt problem that threatens your home or your family’s wellbeing.

UNISON’s Debtline 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.

Debtline can help you deal with:

• credit card debt;
• mortgage arrears;
• home repossession;
• county court judgment claims.

Taking action

Our Debtline service is provided by debt management experts, Payplan. Using this service you get:

• immediate advice;
• a debt management plan to suit your circumstances;
• a case officer to advise you throughout your repayment programme and negotiate with your creditors;
• a reduction of multiple debt repayments into a single, affordable monthly repayment;
• a choice of payment methods
• free and confidential service with no hidden charges.

You can also choose to use the free online Payplan tools to help you come up with your own plan.

Read more about Payplan tools.

Payplan’s advisers are aware of the financial support that There for You can offer and will refer you to us if they think we can help you.

Read more about There for you financial help.

Contact Debtline

Call the UNISON Welfare Debtline
freephone 0800 389 3302

Help with debt is just one of the benefits of joining UNISON.

Not yet a member? Find out how you can join UNISON.

Dealing with debt

Debt can cause a great deal of stress in your life. A small change in circumstances can turn a manageable situation into a debt problem that threatens your home or your family’s wellbeing.

UNISON’s Debtline 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.

Debtline can help you deal with:

• credit card debt;
• mortgage arrears;
• home repossession;
• county court judgment claims.

Taking action

Our Debtline service is provided by debt management experts, Payplan. Using this service you get:

• immediate advice;
• a debt management plan to suit your circumstances;
• a case officer to advise you throughout your repayment programme and negotiate with your creditors;
• a reduction of multiple debt repayments into a single, affordable monthly repayment;
• a choice of payment methods
• free and confidential service with no hidden charges.

You can also choose to use the free online Payplan tools to help you come up with your own plan.

Read more about Payplan tools.

Payplan’s advisers are aware of the financial support that There for You can offer and will refer you to us if they think we can help you.

Read more about There for you financial help.

Contact Debtline

Call the UNISON Welfare Debtline
freephone 0800 389 3302

Help with debt is just one of the benefits of joining UNISON.

Not yet a member? Find out how you can join UNISON.

Benefits Rule Book 2010.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [210.6 KB]

 

Struggling to pay your bills? Increased heating, lighting and water bills, along with the impact of the recession, mean that many members are having problems paying their fuel bills. 

 

Supporting UNISON members when life gets tough


We offer a unique confidential advice and support service just for members of UNISON and their dependants.

 

If you are struggling through an unexpected crisis, or if the pressures of every day life are getting to you, There for You can help.

 

Whether it's just a chat and a sympathetic ear, or more concrete help you need, we may be able to help.

 

We offer:

  • Financial assistance
  • Debt advice
  • Wellbeing breaks
  • Support and information

UNISON is the only trade union to offer a confidential advice and support service to its members and their families in the form of a registered charity. UNISON Welfare, now been rebranded as There for You: supporting UNISON members when life gets tough.


In recent years, we noticed that the name "Welfare" was putting some people off, while other members didn't understand what services we provide.

So we've rebranded our services as the more approachable There for You: supporting UNISON members when life gets tough. The charity's official name remains UNISON Welfare.

 

 

Cardif & Vale Credit Union offers flexible savings and affordable loans. We also offer junior accounts and school savings clubs in local schools across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Anybody who lives or works in Cardiff or the Vale of Glamorgan can join as a member. For more information click the link above.

 

 

Wellbeing breaks

We are aware of the pressures on UNISON members and the many obstacles to achieving a happy and healthy work life balance. Our well being breaks can provide welcome relief from the stresses of daily life and the space and time to reflect away from difficult or depressing circumstances.

We can help with all or part of the costs of a break depending on your financial situation.

The wellbeing breaks include:

  • family holidays and outings
  • get well breaks
  • breaks in other special circumstances e.g. for carers and following bereavement

The breaks are delivered in partnership with the Family Holiday Association, a national charity that specialises in providing holidays for families in need. For example, they can arrange a stay in self-catering accommodation in a chalet or caravan at selected UK holiday centres. UNISON’s award winning Croyde Bay holiday village in Devon is a popular destination with members. Alternatively, you can organise accommodation of your own choosing in the UK.

Family holidays  

 

Get well breaks

Our get well breaks are designed to support any members with or without children, or their dependants, who are recovering from illness (including stress), accident or an operation and who are not in need of nursing care.

We recognise that ill health can sometimes impact on the whole family and that there will be occasions when it will be beneficial for the person who is ill and the whole family to get away together.

The service is flexible depending on your needs with a choice of accommodation such as hotels and guest houses or traditional convalescent facilities and shorter breaks.

Other special circumstances

We can provide respite breaks for carers with day to day responsibility for a disabled dependant and breaks following bereavement of a partner or dependant child. Breaks are also available for those with a terminal illness.

This is only a summary of the information available. Please refer to the wellbeing breaks application form and accompanying guidance notes before making your application.