What are Self Organised Groups?

UNISON members who share common concerns get together in self-organised groups to discuss, campaign and organise events around the specific issues that affect them.

Member groups work for change in many different ways:

  • by raising awareness of topical issues that affect members;
  • by campaigning to change legislation;
  • by using the bargaining power of their collective voice.

Being a member of UNISON means you get the support and collective bargaining power of 1.3 million other members. When members gather together and act as one they can often achieve greater good than individuals working alone.

Barnsley Equality Forum Events

Previous events - Autumn 2015 - Spring 2016





Sun 6th from 10am

Barnsley Gay Pride
(LGBT Forum) 10am - late – Mandela Gardens, Barnsley.
There will be a range of daytime and evening activities, stalls and entertainment.


Sat 19th

Barnsley Together
(Race Equality Forum) – ‘Know Your Rights’
10.30am - 3pm – Barnsley Town Hall


Fri 25th

Hate and Harassment Conference
Barnsley Town Hall


Weds 30th

My Barnsley Too
(Disability Forum) event – venue and times to be confirmed.


Saturday 5th

Gender Equality Forum
Reclaim the Night

Barnsley Together (Race Equality Forum) – ‘Know Your Rights’ - Saturday 19th September 2015 – 10.30am - 3pm – Barnsley Town Hall (various rooms).

This event will cover various topics from Hate and Harassment to Education and Health. There will be feedback opportunities, consultation activities and discussion about community involvement on the day as well as various stalls to promote more of the same.

As part of the event the delegates want to highlight the importance of ‘knowing your rights’ given the diverse national, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds of people living within the borough. Information on the day will include; how to access local services, amenities or engagement opportunities and where to go for support, advice or guidance in Barnsley.

Hate and Harassment Conference – Friday  25th September 2015

One Barnsley Hate and Harassment Partnership - Hate and Harassment Conference – Friday  25th September 2015 – Barnsley Town Hall - the Partnership are holding a Stakeholder Conference to enable community organisations and operational employees from across our organisations to help us evaluate the first year of the strategy and to help shape our priorities for the year ahead.

Gender Equality Forum - Reclaim the Night – Saturday 5th December 2015 – 10am – 4pm Town Hall, 6pm - 8.30pm Peel Square and town centre march – The Forum are very excited to announce the first Reclaim the Night march in Barnsley.

The march gives females a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night as part of a safe and empowering event. Over the years Reclaim the Night marches have focused on rape and male violence giving women one night when they could feel safe to walk the streets of their own towns and cities and today people march for the same reasons.

In Barnsley although still focusing on sexual violence and harassment against women and girls we also feel that it is important to champion “A Safe Night, a Good Night” for all and therefore we invite men and women of all backgrounds to come and join us. If you are interested in learning more about the event please have a look at the facebook page and follow the event on Twitter. Facebook: Barnsley reclaim the night, Twitter: @Barnsleyreclaim #Barnsleyreclaimthenight

Notes from the Regional Women’s SOG Meeting - Sat 12 March 2016

Regional Women’s SOG Meeting - Sat 12 March 2016, Commerce House, Leeds

As one of the delegates from the Branch, (Maxine Russell is the other delegate), I attended the regional meeting and International Women’s Day event at Commerce House.

Wendy Nicholls the Union President was one of the speakers, along with Councillor Judith Blake, the Leader of Leeds City Council, one of only two women Leaders of flagship Councils.

Wendy spoke about the lobbying that is going on by the union against the Trade Union Bill in the House of Lords, including with Tory Peers who are prepared to say it’s wrong. She encouraged Members to write to MPs and use any contacts to press the case for ditching the Bill.

The Bill is more sinister than it appears in that one of the aims is to cut funding to the Labour Party, when you think about the billionaire donors to the Tory Party, this will create an even more deeply unfair political landscape.

Wendy also spoke about the need to encourage young Members to become more active in the Union, they are our future and we need to look for opportunities to mentor and support their involvement in our Branches.

Wendy went on to mention her charity work in Africa and supporting education for all.
Judith spoke about how deeply unequal women in the workplace are. The slogan for IWD this year is ‘Pledge for Parity’. Judith commented that ‘we are not asking for much’ are we?

Finally, the Chair of the Regional Women’s SOG asked for support from Members to send baby clothes to Africa, as she organises shipments – it was suggested that we have collection points in Branches if anyone would like to donate to this worthwhile cause.

Rhona Bywater



UNISON women campaign in a self-organised group for equality in the workplace and for improvements to women's rights in the workplace and in the wider community.

Contact Gillian Nixon on 07540 766274 or email gilliannixon@unisonbarnsleylg.org for more information.

Disabled Members
UNISON's priorities on disability are led by the union's own disabled members. We help disabled members by fighting discrimination and campaigning and organising at workplace, regional and national levels.

Black Members
Black members in UNISON play a key role in winning equality in the workplace,
actively challenge racism wherever it is found, and are at the forefront of UNISON's organising work. As black members in UNISON we work together to win positive change in the workplace. The more of us that are actively involved the stronger we become.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members
UNISON fights discrimination and prejudice in the workplace on behalf of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) members. We work together in local and national groups of LGBT members to campaign and provide support for our members.

Contact Ben Harvey on 07432 794325 or email benharvey@unisonbarnsleylg.org

Yorkshire & Humberside Region SOGS

Find out how to get involved with regional SOG activities here...

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