Unite members at Goodyear donate nearly £1 millio...

Unite members at Goodyear donate nearly £1 million for Wolverhampton hospice building project

25 November 2016

Big-hearted Unite members are making a donation of nearly £1 million to the launch of the Compton Hospice Community hub project extension in Wolverhampton.

The money will come from the former 5/344 Transport and General Workers (TGWU) Sick and Distress Fund which is being wound up as tyre manufacturer Goodyear gets set to close the doors on its only UK manufacturing operation next month.

The money was built up since 1985 as the employer Goodyear paid into the fund which is based on a Scandinavian model of trade union welfare provision.

Members of the media are invited to attend a press conference announcing the funding by members of Unite’s Goodyear Wolverhampton branch at Compton Hospice at 10.00 today (Friday 25 November).

The project will see a substantial regeneration of the hospice’s facilities, as well as the development of a purpose-built community hub.

Unite West Midlands regional secretary Gerard Coyne said: “This is a very generous gesture by our members working at Goodyear, who have a wonderful record of fundraising for other good causes in the West Midlands.

“The fund, which has been running for 31 years, represents the very best ideals of what trade unionism in the UK stands for – and will continue to do so in these difficult and challenging times.”

When: Friday 25 November, 10:00 – 11:00
Where: The Stephen Morton Room, Compton Hospice, 4 Compton Road West, Wolverhampton WV3 9DH

Who will be attending and available for one-to-one interviews: 

Cyril Barrett – chairman, Unite the union Goodyear branch
Gerard Coyne – Unite West Midlands regional secretary
John Harris – trustee chairman, Compton Hospice
Claire Marshall – chief executive, Compton Hospice 

Chief executive of Compton Hospice Claire Marshall, said: “We are so incredibly grateful to members of the 5/344 Transport and General Workers Union Branch for their incredibly generous donation, which is one of the largest in Compton’s history. This project will ensure the legacy of their great work lives on through Compton Hospice.  

“It is poignant that a scheme set up by the trade union, that helped to support members in times of illness, will now be utilised by Compton hospice to continue to support those with incurable illnesses across Wolverhampton.

“It has been a long held ambition to bring all of our services together to allow central co-ordination and create a more efficient and responsive service for our patients and their families.

“Building a new community hub will also allow us to carry out much needed updates and repairs to areas of our Grade II listed buildings that have sadly crumbled and weathered over the years.

“We have a beautiful design for the 5/344 Transport & General Workers Union branch building which, subject to being granted planning permission, will bring this project to life ensuring this modern facility marries in tastefully with our beautiful traditional building.

“This is a significant and costly exercise which would not have been possible were it not for this incredibly generous donation from Unite members.”

Compton Hospice’s website said it is “a Wolverhampton-based charity who has been supporting patients facing a life-limiting illness, and their families, for over 30 years.

“Our services are available free-of-charge to people in Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, South Staffordshire and East Shropshire.”


Notes to editors:

For more information and to confirm attendance please contact Grace Lee, PR & marketing officer for Compton Hospice on 01902 774548 or email

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

The TGWU merged with the Amicus union to become Unite in 2007. 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.