I started as a rep sometime around the year 2000. I was encouraged by colleagues to push myself forward, I think the quote at the time was "you are Northern, therefore opinionated." Something of a generalisation, but I ran with it. Despite having served as President for ten years, it's the day to day representations that are the most rewarding, from challenging bullying and harassment to representing members on disciplinary hearings.
One that stands out exposes the myth that "you shouldn't join a union during your first year as they can't help you." I had a colleague reinstated who was dismissed 11 months into his probation. Management failed to follow their own procedures throughout. Without a union rep, this would not have been exposed.
I would encourage anyone to join the TSSA and to find their voice. Your union is only as good as its local representatives. So if you think you can do it, come forward.