Last week our branch was contacted by members working at Flower Lane Autism Service to say that Bob had passed away in his sleep at the weekend.
I have known Bob for over 20 years he was one of the first UNISON reps I worked with in the old Barnet Social Services department back in the day.
Bob was much loved by his work colleagues and the service users. He was deeply compassionate man who loved his work and the trade union his energy and enthusiasm was infectious. I had the opportunity to witness Bob dealing with very senior managers about serious matters affecting members and I always believed that they found it hard to say no to him. He had that way about him.
Bod was always on hand to take up case work for UNISON members in distress, he didn’t like to see anyone in distress or being bullied he very much wore his heart on his sleeve.
Bob understood the importance of solidarity. He was directly involved in the two big outsourcing fights we had between 1997-2002 over residential and day services for older people and Home Care services. But it was his determination to stop the outsourcing of Learning Difficulties a year later that showed his true grit. This fight went on for over a year and eventually after all the effort the Council decided to keep the services in house. I don’t know if members really understood what Bob did during that time, but I was both honoured and impressed to have worked alongside him.
Over the years I saw less of Bob, but when I did it was if it was only yesterday we had last spoke. I could still see the passion for the job (even though he had retired he came back as an As & When) in his eyes.
I have recently spoken to a few staff who have worked alongside Bob and I understand that this news has really taken everyone one by surprise.
Bob Allan will always be associated with Flower Lane.
He will be sorely missed by staff service users and their carer’s as a kind generous man who gave everything he had to help others.
I am proud to have known Bob, solidarity Bob, Unison member and comrade.
Bob Allan RIP