Staff

Ben Greenwood

Treasurer

Union rep Ben has moved through several positions since joining the Blackburn with Darwen Council communications team seven years ago. The married dad-of-one is passionate about promoting the great work that goes on at Blackburn to make a difference to UNISON members. Ben, a former journalist, is also actively involved with many community groups and charities in his home town of Norden in Rochdale.

Denise Wilkins

Branch Secretary

With her background in education, Denise found a passion for UNISON when she became involved in a numeracy and literacy project run by the union nine years ago. She enjoyed being able to help people with problems that with her support, could easily be lifted. Darwen-born Denise had previously worked in the benefits department at the council. Now the branch secretary, who specialises in disciplinary matters, is keen to boost membership to give the team a bigger voice. She is actively involved in UNISON rallies across the country and represents the Blackburn branch at East Lancs UNISON meetings.

Paul Crewe

Assistant Branch Secretary

Dad-of-five Paul took a progressive route through the council to his current position in UNISON. Starting in the finances department over 30 years ago, Paul has represented the union as a Health and Safety representative and secretary, before taking on roles of both treasurer and chairman. Paul, who enjoys his local stroll to work and says his confidence has grown immensely since taking on his full-time role, has chief responsibility for helping members from schools and dealing with disciplinary matters.

Louise Astin

Branch Organiser

Louise started working part-time for UNISON in 1998 after having her first child. She started as the office administrator and is now acting as Branch Organiser, having completed several courses including  Level 4 Advice & Guidance. The Rishton mum enjoys working for the Blackburn UNISON Branch as she feels compassionate about helping its members. Louise and her partner own a gym which they run, as well as a delivery business.

Jacques McCaughran

Young Members Officer

Darwen-born Jacques took up his role in 2014 and has since recruited 25 young people to join the union. He feels it is important to join a union because it is like having “an insurance at work. He added,

”Nine times out of ten you won’t need anyone and will have no problems, but that one time when you do need help – you need someone to act on your behalf and that’s when you need to be part of UNISON.”

Jacques enjoys going to the cinema, as well as socialising with friends.

Heather White

Communications Officer and Labour Link Officer

Heather became involved with UNISON after consistently seeing staff being treated in ways she felt were unfair and felt it her duty to stand up for them. Heather, who is currently an administration supervisor in the council’s HR and Legal department, previously worked for the BBC World Service in London, London Regional Transport in their IT service and Blackburn Magistrates’ Court before taking her current role at the council.

Pat O’Connor

Pat has been  a member of various Trade Unions since she was 19, holding many positions including shop steward. rep and work place contact. She is passionate about workers joining a Union in order to make their views known and to stand as a collective group. The mum-of-one is now approaching retirement but has enjoyed many happy years working with people with disabilities and children leaving care. Ukulele player Pat enjoys holidays abroad, live music and festivals in her spare time but can mostly be found on the 4th floor on Duke Street working in Children’s Services.

Alan Holden

Chairperson

Rovers supporter Alan has been a branch rep for many years and now holds the position of chairman. He is a keen advocate of getting everyone on board at the union and regularly takes part in rallies across the country in his spare time.

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