UNISON Communication – Ensure you receive the £150 #energy rebate


Many of you will have heard that households in Coventry will receive the £150 payment to go towards rising energy costs. UNISON are very clear that this barely scratches the surface and what we need is a proper pay rise to combat the cost of living. That said, we do want to ensure that every member gets the help that is there for them.

For Council Tax payers who pay by direct debit, the £150 should already have been sent out and you should have received it. If you do not pay by direct debit, the Council have provided information about how to proceed. According to the Coventry City Council website about 53,000 households will have to make an application.

We advise members to visit https://www.coventry.gov.uk/news/article/4229/households-to-receive-150-energy-payment-in-april

UNISON would also like to thank our members who are involved in administering this scheme.

There For You – UNISON Welfare Charity


There for You is UNISON’s Welfare Charity which supports members experiencing financial hardship.

In the last year There for You has provided direct support to more than ten of our members, dealing with issues related to ill health, unemployment, disability, domestic abuse, withholding of pay and homelessness.

We have provided them with access to food banks, emergency financial grants, debt advice including negotiations of repayments and support with legal processes, benefits advice, bereavement advice, advice on support for carers, advice on visa applications, and financial support for basic living expenses, house moving costs, school uniforms, Christmas gifts.

Find out more via https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/services-support/there-for-you/

#Coventry City #UNISON Welfare Update



@BigDiffScheme If you are a Severn Trent Water customer and require assistance, apply for help today via:


  • You could receive up to 90% off the average Severn Trent water bill through the Big Difference Scheme
  • If you are eligible for income based free school meals it’s likely that you will qualify for the Big Difference Scheme

The Big Difference Scheme is funded by Severn Trent Water, which offers significantly reduced water charges to some households on a low income.
Apply now: www.bigdiff.co.uk

Download the Leaflet > Severn_Trent_Big_Difference.pdf

UNISON is proud to have its own welfare support and we are always here help members in times of need. For more information, please call us on 02474 550829

#UNISON Winter Fuel Grant Update


UNISON Welfare…

The Winter Fuel Grant has been temporarily paused.  As expected, demand for this was high.  We expect an update next Monday.

The Covid Response Fund offers grants of up to £500 for eligible members who have suffered loss of income due to Covid.  Apply here: www.unison.org.uk/covid-19-response-fund-2/

You can still get help for financial hardship due to unexpected circumstances. In an emergency we can usually sort something in 24 hours. Help with shopping bills is possible. We can refer you to local food bank network or apply for shopping vouchers. Contact branch for details of the above.

We can assist with debt. Our debtline is 0800 389 3302.  Service details are here: www.payplan.com/unison/

UNISON Benefits Calculator: https://unison.entitledto.co.uk/home/start

We don’t just deal with the financial side of things.  Our charity There For You provides a confidential service for members over the phone if you are experiencing personal difficulties, such as long-term illness, recovering from surgery, domestic violence or abuse.  

Contact the branch or call: 020 7121 5620

Domestic Abuse – A message & info from #Coventry City #UNISON


Domestic Abuse… Women’s Aid defines domestic abuse as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading, and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation, and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)
  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Financial or economic abuse
  • Harassment and stalking
  • Online or digital abuse

Members who are suffering from domestic abuse may well be finding that lockdown is increasing their isolation and their abuse.  UNISON has produced a leaflet which we have attached that talks about domestic abuse and the support you can expect.


For services, here is a list:

Coventry Haven
Coventry Haven help women and children who have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse by providing safe housing and a range of support services. You can find out more by calling 02476444077 or via

Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre
The Coventry Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre provides support, information and advocacy to female victims and supervisors of sexual violence. You can find out more by calling 02476 277 777 or via www.crasac.org.uk

Galop is the national lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans charity intended to help raise awareness and combat same-sex domestic violence and abuse. You can find out more by calling 0800 999 5428 or via www.galop.org.uk/domesticabuse

Men’s Aid
Men’s Aid help provide practical advice and support to men who have been abused. You can find out more calling 0333 567 0556 or via www.mensaid.co.uk/

National Domestic Abuse Helpline
The National Domestic Abuse Helpline is run in partnership between Women’s Aid and Refuge. It gives support, help and information for women experiencing domestic violence. You can find out more by calling 0808 2000 247 or via www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk

Valley House
Valley House offer support for people who are over 16 years of age and suffer from domestic abuse. You can find out more by calling 0800 328 9084 or via www.valleyhouse.org.uk/domestic-abuse-coventry/

Mental Health Matters…#mentalhealthmatters


The branch is concerned that members may be struggling with their mental health through this lockdown and who may have been struggling with other concerns for some time. 

We have seen increasing rates of sickness absence and members struggling with their anxieties.  We don’t want anyone to struggle alone and we are here to help where we can; we aren’t trained counsellors however and below are several ways you can access professional support.  

UNISON’s national charity There For You can be contacted to seek support on – 02071215620

As we said last week many employers may also have their own support services that staff can access to get support.

Here is a list of organisations in Coventry that may be able to help you or a family member:

Mental Health Support Organisations

Samaritans Call 116 123 free 24/7

Safe Havens Safe Havens in Coventry and Warwickshire provide out-of-hours mental health support for people who are feeling distressed and overwhelmed.  

PAPYRUS Free service for young people. Call 0800 068 4141 9am-10pm Mon-Fri /2pm-10pm weekends or visit www.papyrus-uk.org

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) Call 0300 111 5065 9am-9pm Monday to Friday or visit www.uksobs.org

MIND Coventry and WarwickshireHelp and support for mental health problems. Call 024 7655 2847 or visit www.cwmind.org.uk

Change Grow Live Coventry Free and confidential drug and alcohol service for adults, families and affected others. Call 02476 010241 9am-5pm Mon/ 9am – 8pm Tue/ 9am – 5pm Wed-Fri or email coventry.info@cgl.org.uk

Compass: Substance misuse service for children and young people in Warwickshire Call 01788 578 227 or email: compass.warksypsduty@nhs.net.  Office hours are Mon-Thurs 09:00 to 17:00 and Friday from 9am to 4.30pm. Visit: https://www.compass-uk.org/services/warwickshire-cypdas/ for more information

The Recovery and Wellbeing Academy: Free courses and workshops to help people in their recoveryCall 0300 303 2626 or visit www.recoveryandwellbeing.covwarkpt.nhs.uk

The KaleidoscopeSuicide Bereavement Support Services call 0121 565 5665 or visit www.kaleidoscopeplus.org.uk

Veterans’ Mental Health TIL Service Call 0300 323 0137 24/7

RISE: Emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young peopleCall 0300 200 2021 8am – 6pm Mon-Fri or visit www.cwrise.com

It Takes Balls To Talk: Campaign to encourage people to talk about mental health issues. Visit www.ittakesballstotalk.com

“Looked after” Children’s Christmas appeal and Foodbank Appeal


Hi everyone,

As you know for the last 4/ 5 years? Coventry City Council staff have collected at Christmas for both the Foodbank, and for Christmas presents for our “looked after children”.

Every year we’ve been overwhelmed with the sheer volume and generosity of all you kind souls out there. See last years haul in the pic above.

This year things are obviously very different, even father Christmas is socially distancing, and has gone ”Virtual” in the grottos; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-54816579

So instead of buying gifts for our looked after children and care leavers, we can now donate to the “Just Giving Page” that has been set up here:


Its super easy to use, literally takes seconds, and any donation great or small would be hugely appreciated.

They’re aiming to raise £3k by the deadline of 30th November

You can follow them on social media too – @VoicesOfCareCov and @CovVoices

Secondly as ever the Foodbanks are always looking for donations and this time of year is always the hardest financially. You can still donate to supermarket collection points (a complete list is on this website) and you can also donate cash really easily too.









·       SQUASH

·       COFFEE 


Please help get the message for donations out there!

Let’s make this a bumper year for both Childrens services and Coventry Foodbank, and thank you all so very much.

PRESS RELEASE – Sickness absence at Coventry City Council – ‘Mental Health Matters’


UNISON welcomes the opportunity to respond to the comments made in the Coventry Evening Telegraph by Councillor Mutton, Cabinet Member for Resources, about sickness absence at Coventry City Council.

We too are very concerned at the upward trend in sickness absence in the organisation. Just a few weeks ago UNISON highlighted the issue of mental health in the workplace and held open meetings on Mental Health in the Workplace, which were well received. The aim of these meetings is to record the issues that affect our members’ mental health and well-being and to begin to address them with our employer.

We have raised questions about this matter with the employer over a number of years, not least as they apply to the Equality Act and the Health and Safety at Work Act. The employer has a duty of care to ensure employees are kept safe at work in all aspects, including health and well-being.

They also have a duty to ensure that those employees are properly supported in order that they can carry out their roles. We have also raised issues about bullying, harassment and cultural issues of discrimination many times with the City Council.

We know that the vast majority of absence is genuine. We also know that austerity and cuts to Council budgets have had a devastating impact on the workplace as employees are asked to take on more work with less staff which simply cannot continue.

Public Service should be respected and embraced. Our members often go above and beyond the call of duty.  That needs to be recognised. For too long our members have been undermined by austerity. To excel, we need to become an employer of choice. Therefore it is important that our members are valued employees regardless of whom they are. The Council could embrace Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We are at our best when everyone feels valued.

Message ends.

Please phone 02476 550829 or email sarah.feeney@unisoncoventry.co.uk  or richard.harty@unisoncoventry.co.uk with any enquiries.