Graham Walmsley, UNISON Bolton Branch Chair, Bolton College Convenor, and friend has suddenly passed away.

Graham collapsed without warning on the evening of Saturday 5th of June, he was taken by ambulance to hospital where, after a short battle to keep him with us passed away at 6.30am on Sunday morning 6th with his wife Steph’ and daughter Leanne by his side. Graham and Steph’ had just recently celebrated 38 years together. He was also proud to coach his daughters football team! 

It has left activists in the branch, completely shocked and devastated.

Graham has been a lifelong union member, his membership in Unison commenced via the merger of Nalgo, NUPE and CoHSE in 1993

Graham worked at Bolton College and was the branches most senior activist at Bolton College and Bolton University making a formidable team with the stewards there Becky Davidson, Rachel Web and Nicki Ainsworth. They have campaigned and lobbied on local and national issues. Graham was the key link in negotiations with the Bolton University merger.

He has held various elected positions in the FE and HE Sector regionally and nationally.  

Graham recently became the Branch Chair, a move from being the Vice Chair. Graham prepared meticulously for meetings, researching and cross checking anything he was unsure about.  He was, a true professional.

Graham represented Bolton Unison branch as a delegate to Bolton Trades Council and to various conferences often speaking at conference on behalf of our members on pay, service conditions and pensions. He was due to attend Unison National Conference on the 15th June as part of the branch’s delegation.

For Graham socialism wasn’t just a word it was how he lived his life day in and day out. He was a loyal trade unionist and passionate about Further Education and the betterment of young people. UNISON has lost one of its finest activists. We are proud to have had him in our branch, and prouder to call him a friend.

You were my mentor, and guide. Helping so many people, with a wealth of knowledge – you leave a void in my life – Becky Davidson, Bolton College Steward, Fellow colleague, and friend.

My Conference buddy! We’d burn the oil both ends; those speeches don’t write themselves!! – Jayne Clarke, Assistant Branch Secretary

A life cut short in his prime. Our movement has lost one of the best – Bernie Gallagher, Ex Branch Secretary

A chair’s role is challenging, you have to get the balance of keeping everyone in order AND everyone happy! You did it with such ease. You will be so deeply missed. Our hearts are truly broken.  Comrade your shift is over, Rest In Peace – Andrea Egan, Branch Secretary

It has been agreed with Steph’, that the branch banner, activists and members will line the route to his final resting place. We will let you have the details when they are confirmed.

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