Members in Southampton get confidence boost thanks to union

More than a dozen women members of UNISON’s Southampton District Branch boosted their self-confidence on another successful Power to be you one-day workshop in the Civic Centre in October.

Unison helps members build confidence

Delivered by lay tutor Julia O’Connell from the neighbouring Isle of Wight Local Government Branch, the workshop focused on: improving self-esteem; communicating with confidence; and boosting confidence and assertiveness.

The group work showed participants how many of them faced similar issues in their different workplaces.

In their feedback, learners praised Julia for adapting her pace to the needs of participants and identified how the group work enabled them to examine issues in their workplaces. They also found a “self-confidence quiz” very useful in identifying areas to focus on and found the learning environment very supportive.

Branch Lifelong Learning Coordinator / Education Officer Martin Merritt organised the course and advertised it, not only though his branch, but also through UNISON’s regional team to ensure that as many people as possible had the opportunity to attend.

This proved popular and generated a lot of interest as not only does Martin have a waiting list following the first course but has also be been asked by his Branch Secretary, Hayle Garner, if he could run another course as she could see further need for the training after attending meetings with the Branches woman members.

Martin is planning future courses at the moment and pointed it is for everyone:

This course, although aimed for our woman members to build on confidence in and outside the workplace, can be delivered for our male members who may lack confidence as well.”

Martin said that:

The training highlighted the importance of providing learning for all our members. We also always try, as a branch, encourage non-members to attend so they can see what is being offered by local UNISON branches in terms of membership learning – it is a great way to recruit non-members!”

Martin pointed out that the course has led to an increase in wider learning within the branch and said:

From this course, I have had some members asking if there were any other courses they could attend, one asking about becoming a union learning rep and one also asked if UNISON did anything on nurses’ training – which is why membership learning is so important.”