Welfare Officer | Workplace Steward
Contact Priscilla Hogan
I joined UNISON in 1995 when I first worked as a Care Assistant at the then St Giles House for Older People. This establishment closed and the building was demolished; residents moved to a new home called Flowers House.
At the same time I worked part time with the National Probation Service in one of their Approved Premises in Great Holm. My role was to assist offenders coming from prison to find work and accommodation and monitor them not to re-offend.
In 2003 I applied for a job within the NHS in MKUH as a Nutrition Assistant as a part time worker. I loved the job but the hours were not enough for me to support myself and pay all my bills. However, I continued working at the Probation Service as a relief member of staff and my UNISON membership continued throughout.
In 2008 I saw an advert at Milton Keynes Council for a Community Support Worker to work with people who are infected/affected with HIV/AIDS. I got the job. I worked with Social Workers based in hospital. Due to my background from my native country I have had many relatives/friends who died from this killer disease. I still work with this group of clients in my current role. These days people are aware of the fundamental protection and or the so-called morning after treatment.
UNISON has/is always on my side as my friend at work. I have attended numerous training courses and events: UNISON Migrants at work, UNISON Women at Work and more. Caroline Raine (Area Organiser) was at each of the sessions and she said to me ’you have been a UNISON Member for a long time, so why don’t you become a Steward? I will support you’. In 2016 I spoke with Graham Blues then UNISON Branch Secretary, advising that I want to attempt to become a Workplace Steward. The Training was arranged for April 2017. This has given me confidence to stand up for myself and other members. I’m aware of how it is to be on the receiving end of poor treatment at work, but now I know what to say or do. I honestly suggest/advise members who are thinking of becoming Workplace Stewards that it is like a piece of my favourite Carrot Cake. In 2018 I undertook training to become the Branch Welfare Officer to support members who are disadvantaged needing financial support for children’s uniforms, white goods etc. and to help them find out which benefits they may be entitled to. It is a rewarding role to support members.