Staff working on Union Learning Fund projects will be starting another project year this month and using their knowledge and experience to support learners get the most from union learning. Lisa Greenfield is one Project Manager who has benefited from the support offered by unions and now helps her fellow BFAWU members.
Lisa started work at Gunstones in 1995 working in various departments before becoming a section leader in the prep area. She was trained as a Union Learning Representative (ULR) back in 2005 by Allan Cook, TUC tutor.
Working alongside Trevor Oldfield, who was the then branch secretary, she continued on her own learning journey including doing a Team Leader course and becoming the ULR co-ordinator on site.
Trevor retired but the aim of opening a learning centre and giving the workforce the opportunities of learning carried on. Open days were organised by Lisa and other ULRs, helping to encourage and cajole people to enrol on English courses that were being organised with the provider Chesterfield College.
In 2006 the learning centre opened and was named G.O.A.L which stands for Gunstones Oldfield Adult Learning centre. This honoured Trevor for his hard work and persistence in enabling learning for the workforce.
Lisa transferred from shop floor to the training department and was responsible for inducting managers, doing SOPs (Standard Operations Procedures) and looking at, and reviewing, procedure both old and new. She helped to set up eight English courses a week, looking at learning schedules and liaising with departments to organise release for learners.
In 2010 project positions were advertised in the unions ‘Foodworker’ magazine and branch secretary, Dave Sorby, suggested to Lisa that she apply for a position.
Lisa takes up the story and explained:
Always up for a new challenge I applied never thinking I would be successful but hoping nonetheless.”
Later that day I received a phone call from Ronnie Draper, BFAWU General Secretary, informing me I had been successful and offered me the position of covering South Yorkshire and other areas where needed. I accused him of joking but when he insisted I’d got the job I was excited.”
Lisa continued with her own learning doing a range of courses including Equality and Diversity, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and many others.
In March 2019 the BFAWU Learning Services Manager, John Vickers, retired. Lisa applied for the job and again was successful.
Union learning has helped Lisa not only develop her own skills and job opportunities, but also given her the chance to give something back and support learners in workplaces across the country.