Meet the new Lifelong Learning team in Southampton District Branch

Picture of Helen

Helen Capstick, ULR at Solent University

I have been a member of UNISON since 2011 but have become more active in recent years when I took on the role of Union Learning Representative (ULR) at Solent University. I became a ULR as I wanted to use my skills to develop more informal learning sessions for those who may find returning to learning daunting, as well as offer support through workshops around workplace issues.

I’m enjoying the opportunity the role has given me to reach out to a wider community, and am also excited about working more closely with a team of local ULRs to deliver a range of workshops and training. I hope that, together, we can meet the learning needs of UNISON members and others, and really make a difference.

Emma Nand, ULR at Southampton City Council

I have been a UNISON Member since I was 17, joining when I got my first full time job. 15 years later I became a ULR after an activist suggested that I would enjoy the role. Two years on, I am working one day a week in the UNISON branch, thanks to the Union Learning Fund.

My aim is to promote, facilitate and support learning and training for all and to offer support and guidance to facilitate this. I strongly believe that colleagues should not let what they cannot do interfere with what they can do. With the support of our team at Southampton District Branch we can encourage and scaffold learning in a way that works for all. If you see us around please say hi or you can drop us an email on

Liz Martin, ULR at Southampton City Council

Hi my name is Liz and my role within UNISON is a ULR. I have worked for SCC for 24 years, been a member for about 12 years and an activist for just over a year. I became a rep after I discovered UNISON were putting on a course I was interested in and the facilitator asked if I would be interested in being a ULR, so I thought “why not?”

I say to people that being a union activist is ‘like stepping out of the wardrobe and into Narnia’ – it opens a whole new world of opportunities, personal development and making contact with people. I now have the confidence to put on my own Lunch & Learn sessions, something I would never have envisaged 18 months ago.