Georgia Norton, young members’ officer at Colchester Borough Council branch, tells us about how she became involved in UNISON
In my branch I am not just the young members’ officer but hold the role as branch treasurer and steward. Having only been a member for two years, I knew I wanted to get involved in the UNISON branch and the union as a whole. Initially I began as the branch treasurer and whilst in that position slowly my confidence grew. I attended the branch committee meetings, and the more I attended I began to believe in myself and had the confidence to put my point across at meetings and have my say. As soon as I received an email about the regional young members’ committee I knew that was something else I wanted to find out more and meet other young people in UNISON.
I have to say everyone on the committee was lovely and encouraged me to take another step forward in UNISON, and that’s when I stepped up as the branch’s young members’ officer. It has not stopped there because I then decided to take an even bigger step forward and decided to become a UNISON steward.
Being part of the Eastern Region’s young members’ committee and being actively involved has boosted my confidence even more, and in turn has improved my work and home life.
In June 2016 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to attend my first UNISON conference as a young member – National Delegate Conference (NDC). As you would expect as a newbie I was very nervous about attending but Stacey Davies our young members’ committee chair supported me and everyone I met gave me encouragement as a first time speaker and my nerves soon melted away! I learnt so much about UNISON as a whole and met some lovely people at conference – the worst part was going home!
Georgia at NDC with general secreary Dave Prentis and
regional secretary Glyn Hawker
I have to say that the whole experience at conference has given me even more confidence and an even better understanding of our union. I am not sure what my next step will be in UNISON but attending a further UNISON conference in 2017 will definitely be on my things to do!
For more information on the region’s young members’ group email UNISON organiser Tracey Butcher