Monthly Archives: October 2014

With Banners Held High

We appreciate that times are hard and money is tight. However if anybody would like to support this worthy cause please contact the film makers.  All details on the poster below. Many thanks


New Media Training

Unite activists took part in media training earlier this month. all of Unite’s training is designed to give our members the tools to campaign. Coming up soon we have Public Speaking, Mental health Awareness and Welfare rights. If you would like to be involved please contact us.

Mr Wharton once again

James Wharton MP has certainly caused a stir today following his criticism of the County Durham Socialist Clothing Bank. We have already detailed his comments and the response from Unite In the Community. The story however has been picked up by other news outlets. The Morning Star has been in touch with the Durham Branch and are looking to print the story tomorrow.  The Huffington Post ran the story earlier today. You can read that article here:

Huffington Post

We may be cynical  here in Durham but is it just co-incidence that a mere two weeks ago Mr Wharton was said to be “delighted” to be elected to the Board of the Conservative Party who act as “the ultimate decision making body of the party, overseeing candidate selection, fundraising, campaigning and all other party activities.” Is criticising the Clothing Bank  a way to make his mark and impress his new best friends? No, couldn’t possibly be…. Finally we would like to thank Mr Wharton for the huge amount of  free publicity his comments have given to the Clothing Bank. We couldn’t have done it better ourselves!

The State of the Coalfields

An interesting read by Mike Fodden, Steve Fothergill and Tony Gore on the economic and social conditions in the former mining communities of England, Scotland and Wales. Published by Sheffield Hallam University Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research.

You can read it here

the State of The Coalfields

James Wharton attacks our volunteers motives (again)

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton has followed up his bizarre attack on the motives of the volunteers from Durham Unite Community who are behind a clothes bank set up in the County, miles away from his own constituency.

The County Durham Socialist Clothes bank was launched this week in Brandon, County Durham by Dawn Willson and Cath Ainsley after they realised, following an overhead discussion in a shop, that there were people in the area who could not even afford clothing from charity shops. They decided to try and do something about that, and set about gathering support and donations for the clothing bank.

Mr Wharton launched his original attack based on the fact that they had received some help setting up the clothes bank from the local branch of Unite Community – which they are both members of – as well as the Durham Miners Association and the GMB Union.

Local news channels covered the launch and Mr Wharton decided to intervene. Speaking outside parliament, he said:
“We have to recognise this is six months before an election. This is the Socialist Clothes Bank. It’s been set up, backed by a number of trade unions, and there is more than a hint of party politics about what’s going on. This is as much about making statements about politics as it is about doing good things. I welcome one; I’m not convinced about the other.”

When we issued a response in defence of our members, Mr Wharton repeated his claims that because some were unions supporting the volunteers, they were playing party politics, stating “Hijacking good causes to launch their attacks is particularly shameful.”

The latest attack on our members motives came after a statement we issued following his original attack was picked up by the local press in Stockton.

You can read his latest attack at the following link:

We previously published a post about the coverage of the clothing bank, including the statement we issued in response to Mr Wharton, which you can read here:

To repeat our message, the Socialist Clothing bank has been set up to meet a desperate need amongst the local communities we serve. Quite how it can be seen as a party political issue by an MP who lives in a constituency many miles away from where the clothes bank operates is a complete mystery to us.

The guiding principles of Unite Community are to support those in need, and to give a voice to those who otherwise would not have one. Mr Wharton should be clear that for as long as he continues to use the highly visible platform he is afforded to attack our members, we will continue to use whatever platforms are available to us to stand up for the dedicated individuals who have set up the clothing bank using the minimal resources available to them, as unlike MP’s they do not have donors willing to give them tens of thousands of pounds to help in their campaigns!

Why Students should join Unite

This is a great piece 0n why students should organise. It tells how one young person came to realise that being in a Trade Union can only be a good idea.


Students Organise!

North East People’s Assembly Against Austerity 2014




NEPA14 Programme Front

You can find details of the final programme and how to book here:


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