One Weekend 2023

20 – 21 May 2023

The jewel in the crown of UNISON Eastern activist education returns for 2023.

We’re returning to the picturesque and well-equipped Wyboston Lakes resort near Bedford for a weekend of officer training and education courses, plus our gala dinner and award ceremony.

Courses start at 10am on Saturday and will be finished by 1pm on Sunday with a creche provided by Nipperbout available during sessions.

From 7pm to late we’ll hold our ever-popular gala dinner and branch awards to celebrate our achievements over the last year.

Please note, registration for the One Weekend is now closed.

Branch officer courses

The following branch officer courses, unless indicated otherwise, are available to newly or recently elected branch officers. They will run on Saturday and Sunday.

Please apply no later than 5pm on Monday 24 April using the form below.

All these courses are designed to help UNISON branch officers carry out their roles effectively.

Branch secretary

This will help you understand

  • The role and function of a UNISON branch;
  • The role of the branch secretary in ensuring that the functions of the branch are carried out effectively;
  • The annual timetable of tasks and deadlines relating to that role;
  • The relationship of the branch secretary to the branch committee and branch members;
  • The relationship of the branch secretary to the region and appropriate service group;
  • Their own development needs with a personal action plan to meet these.

Branch chair

This will help you understand

  • The roles and skills of a chair;
  • The role of the chair in meeting the organising aims of UNISON;
  • Preparing for meetings;
  • Writing motions and amendments;
  • Rules of debate in formal meetings;
  • Chairing and facilitating meetings.

Branch Equalities Coordinator and SOG Officers

This will help you understand

  • The role of the branch equalities coordinator;
  • The basics of equality legislation;
  • Equality in UNISON and self-organised groups;
  • The danger of the single story;
  • How to apply your learning into your branch and employer.

Branch communications officer 

This will help you

  • Develop knowledge about the range of possible branch communications;
  • Increase confidence as branch communications officer;
  • Debate the pros and cons of different communication methods for different purposes;
  • Develop a support network between themselves;
  • Plan tangible action.

Branch health and safety officer

This will help to

  • Equip you with the skills needed to be effective;
  • Give you practical understanding of your role;
  • Help youn understand where health and safety as an issue fits into their branch’s organising plan;
  • Provide information needed to carry out the role, and know where to get further information

Apply now


UNISON activists take a course at the One Weekend

Other activist courses

The following courses are designed to further develop skills and knowledge of our more experienced branch activists. They will run on Saturday and Sunday.

Please apply no later than 5pm on Monday 24 April using the form below.

Leading your branch through campaigns, negotiations and disputes

A course for experienced branch secretaries on how to build our collective strength and win for members in the workplace.

Challenging racism in the workplace

A course for branch activists that are involved in negotiations with their employer and hold a position in the branch that has the remit and authority to take forward a branch strategy and action plan on challenging racism in the workplace.

Apply now



The following workshops are available to both new and experienced activists. They will only run on Saturday.

Please apply no later than 5pm on Monday 24 April using the form below.

Please note, you can only opt to do one or both of the half-day courses or the full-day course.

Campaigning for a Labour government

This half-day workshop on Saturday morning will enable UNISON activists to understand the role they can play in working with Labour in order to improve public services for the public and for employees providing public services.

Becoming conscious of unconscious bias

This half-day workshop on Saturday afternoon facilitated by Hope Not Hate will help participants explore how various structural biases and social power dynamics act in maintaining inequality and analyse the effect these have in the workplace.

Identifying cases of race discrimination in the workplace and using the race discrimination protocol

The experience of our Black members in their workplaces are too often scarred by the injustice of racism.

This course will help activists to work with members to identify and challenge race discrimination in the workplace. It will enable activists to have a full understanding of UNISON’s race discrimination protocol to ensure the best possible outcome for our members.

Apply now


Rad Kerrigan and Christina McAnea pose with the University of East Anglia branch

Branch awards

The awards will be presented at the One Weekend Gala Dinner with all winners nominated by branches or individuals and selected by the finance, development an organisation committee.

The categories are:

  • Campaigning branch of the year
  • Health and safety branch of the year
  • Communications branch of the year
  • Activist of the year
  • Equalities activist of the year
  • Young activist of the year

In addition to these, there will be awards for recruiting branch of the year and learning branch of the year, which will be made on the basis of the data we have in the region, and an overall branch of the year award that the FDO will decide from all the nominations in other categories.

Nominations are now closed – if you want to be the first to know who’s won you’ll have to book your place at the One Weekend!


There are a range of event packages available but please discuss with your branch in the first instance.



An aerial view of Wyboston Lakes, venue for the One Weekend


Situated midway between Cambridge and Milton Keynes, at the edge of the historic market town of St Neots and set in 380 acres of rural countryside is Wyboston Lakes Resort.

Our ONE Weekend 2023 event will be hosted in the Woodlands Event Centre, clearly signposted near to the entrance of the resort. This self-contained building has all the modern training rooms, refreshments, food and accommodation facilities that are required to ensure the weekend goes smoothly for you.

Wyboston Lakes is a cashless venue so only card payments will be accepted for drinks and incidentals.