Cost of Living Survival – Sessions

Here are the edited versions of the talks, workshops and webinars that made up our Cost of Living Survival Event on 20 October 2022

Keynote talk – Cost of Living and the Public Services

Dr Victoria Winckler, The Bevan Foundation

Dr Victoria Winckler has been the Director of the Bevan Foundation since 2002, establishing it as Wales’ most exciting and innovative think-tank. Victoria is also currently Wales adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Victoria is a leading contributor to public policy in Wales. In the 1990s she developed the proposals that secured EU Objective 1 status for West Wales and the Valleys, in the early 2000s she galvanised the Welsh Government’s actions to tackle poverty and most recently generated robust proposals for new Welsh taxes which are now being taken forward by the Welsh Government.

Safe and Fair Saving and Borrowing

Sandy Highfield and Rizwan Shams, Credit Unions of Wales

Empower Your Financial Future with a Credit Union.”

Credit Unions are a key part of our movement, a cooperative way of saving and borrowing money that provides a secure alternative to loan sharks and pay-day lenders.

20 October was also International Credit Union Day 

Sandy from Cambrian Credit Union in north and mid Wales and Rizwan from Cardiff and Vale Credit Union will tell you all about how to join your local credit union, the benefits they bring to you and your community, and introduce you to the Moneyworks Wales Payroll Savings & Loans scheme that is available to people who work in the NHS, Local Authorities, Universities and across the Welsh public services.

Navigating the Financial Squeeze

Scott Portman, Lighthouse Financial Advice

This session will help you make the most of your money and secure your financial future. Scott Portman is one of Lighthouse’s expert financial advisers, and he will be explaining how you can:

  • Manage the Impact of financial worries on your wellbeing
  • Create a plan & take control
  • Know your budget
  • Identify where to cut back
    Knowing what the future has to offer you today
  • Understand your rules and allowances
  • Create your tomorrow
  • Take action

UNISON’s Support for our Members

Richard Speight, UNISON Cymru Wales Learning

UNISON is all about negotiating and campaigning for better pay and conditions for our members across the public services, and we’re currently running the Together We Rise cost of living campaign to #EndthePayCrisis across the UK.

We also offer a range of financial support services including guidance, grants and referrals to other agencies. Our members can also benefit from a range of discounts and offers that can save money on energy, insurance and online shopping.

Rich from our learning team will guide you through what’s available and show you some of the online tools we have to help you too.

The final section is interactive. Add your ideas to the Padlet and see what others will be doing.


Made with Padlet


NEST Warm Homes Scheme and accessing energy efficiency advice

Peter Hughes & Dylan McLellan, NYTH | NEST

The Nest scheme offers a range of free, impartial advice and, if you are eligible, a package of free home energy efficiency improvements such as a new boiler, central heating, insulation, or solar panels. This can lower your energy bills and benefit your health and wellbeing.

This session will tell you how you can access the advice on offer.

Pensions and Money Guidance

Lawrence Davies, Money & Pensions Service

Money touches every aspect of our lives. The Money & Pensions Service is the publicly funded agency set up to help everyone to manage their money better in the short term and plan for the long term.

This session will focus on the support available to you about pensions, look at how you will fund your retirement, how much money will you need, types of pensions, and your options to take money out of an existing pension.

Money guidance is often given as part of wider services provided by thousands of diverse organisations and practitioners. If you talk to people about money, as a UNISON rep or as part of your public service job – the Money Guiders programme is here to help you do that. They have free online training available.

Your Benefits and AdviceLink Cymru

Luke Young, Citizens Advice Cymru

Across the UK, £15 billion of benefits remain unclaimed each year. As the cost of living crisis gets ever worse, we need to ensure everyone gets what they’re entitled to.

Luke Young is the Assistant Director of Citizens Advice Cymru, which runs the Advicelink Cymru, a Welsh Government funded Citizens Advice service designed to help people who are most in need of advice services, particularly those who would not usually seek advice.

It offers quality assured advice on welfare benefits, debt, employment, education, housing, immigration and discrimination. The service aims to help people access the right advice, at the right time and make it easier for them to access services again if they need further help—whether that’s about the same issue or something new.


AdviceLink Cymru – 0800 702 2020. 

Relay UK — if you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 08082 505 720

Launch of UNISON’s Money Matters guide 

Jenny Griffin, UNISON Cymru Wales Learning

We are delighted to launch of our newly updated and revised guide to help Welsh public service workers like you to manage your money.

It has been created for you by Jenny Griffin from UNISON Cymru Wales’ learning team and includes great tips and hints as well as practical resources that everyone can use.

Money Matters Guide

5 cost of living actions you can take today

Click here to join UNISON

Organise a Branch Meet-Up

UNISON branches can organise face-to-face meet-ups with groups of workers to watch our morning talks and then run practical workshops in the afternoon.

It’s a great opportunity to invite members and potential members in to speak with the branch and for you to organise around the theme of the cost of living crisis, and to create links with local charities and community organisations.