Citizens Cymru Wales

Founded in October 2014, Citizens Cymru Wales builds diverse alliances of communities organising for power, social justice and the common good.

Our member organisations are are churches, schools, mosques, unions and other civil society organisation that have:

  • deep roots in their community;
  • an interest in developing people to become effective community leaders;
  • a vision for greater social justice;
  • a willingness to turn that vision into action for the common good;
  • a hunger for change which local people can see, taste or touch.

We are non-partisan, but we promote greater democratic participation in public life. Our broad-based community organising method (read more here) helps ordinary people to get a seat at the table with those in power and negotiate for change on the local issues they care about.

Since 2014, Citizens Cymru Wales campaigns have resulted in:

  • £15 million of extra wages for Welsh workers from the campaign we lead for the Real Living Wage (figures from Cardiff Business School);
  • the resettlement of Syrian refugees across Wales, and the pioneering of Community Sponsorship in Narberth, Fishguard, Aberystwyth and Haverfordwest;
  • numerous local campaigns, such as the provision of a new Zebra crossing on the Gurnos, the first Halal Nando’s in Cardiff, and the development of dementia-friendly Zimmers.

If this resonates with you and your organisation, please get in touch to find out how you can become a member organisation.

You can sign up to our monthly newsletter here.

News

Citizens Action Wins Big Pay Rise for Cardiff Airport Workers... But Not Until 2020. We Don't Want Jam Tomorrow: We Want the Real Living Wage Today!

'Jammie Dodger' Action at Cardiff Airport Prompts Progress on the Real Living Wage 

By Jonathan Cox
Lead Organiser, Citizens Cymru Wales

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Photo: Rev Catherine Brobbey (Vale of Glamorgan Methodist Circuit) and Jess Maddocks offer packs of Jammie Dodgers to passengers entering Cardiff Airport.

Citizens Cymru Wales organised a Jammie Dodger-themed action at Cardiff Airport on May 1st 2018 to call on the Chief Executive, Deb Barber, to stop dodging the meeting she had promised local Citizens leaders before Christmas, to stop promising 'jam tomorrow', and instead deliver a Real Living Wage for Airport Workers by Living Wage Week in November 2018. 

The Jammie Dodger Action prompted the Airport to issue a statement pledging to introduce the Real Living Wage for its workers by April 2020 (with an interim increase in April 2019).  If this happens it could mean a pay rise of 12% for Security Workers based on the likely Real Living Wage figure in April 2020.  We understand that Deb Barber has asked to meet with the Living Wage Foundation's Accreditation Partner in Wales, Cynnal Cymru, which is another positive development. 

It is too early to start celebrating, especially as the Airport's workers will have received seven years worth of publicly-funded poverty pay before they finally get the Real Living Wage in April 2020.  Another two years is too long to wait, so we need to keep the pressure on for the Airport to accredit by Living Wage Week in November this year.  As Leanne Wood AM said when she raised our campaign at First Minister's Questions in the Senedd after the action, we need 'deeds, not warm words' from Cardiff Airport. 

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'More Kids, More Active, More Often' - Campaigning for Affordable Leisure in Cardiff

Isla Horton got angry when a change to the pricing system at leisure centres in Cardiff threatened her daughter's opportunities to do the activities she loved.  Her local church is part of the Llandaff Area Deanery, a member institution of Citizens Cymru Wales.  Here Isla tells the story of her campaign for affordable leisure for her children and thousands of others in the capital, and how community organising helped her get around the table to negotiate with decision-makers. 

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Photo: Lily Horton outside Western Leisure Centre, Ely

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Cardiff Citizens call on Cardiff City Football Club to go Living Wage

Cardiff Citizens Hit the Headlines with Living Wage Action at Cardiff City Football Club

by Jonathan Cox

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Photo: Ali Abdi and Richard Weaver (now Community Organisers with Citizens Cymru Wales) were both involved as leaders in the original Cardiff City FC Living Wage campaign in 2015.

We were all delighted to see Cardiff City get promoted to the Premier League.  We all know that football players earn high wages, and that winning promotion is a huge deal for the Club (who could benefit to the tune of £170 million), but what about the stewards and hospitality staff who make each matchday run smoothly - would they benefit from the Club's financial success?  There are growing number of accredited Living Wage football clubs in the Premier League - Cardiff are joining the footballing elite, but would they join an elite group of clubs (including Everton, West Ham and Chelsea) committed to the Living Wage? A team from Cardiff Citizens weren't prepared to leave it to chance...

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A Place to Pee! The Campaign for Better Public Toilets in Pontypridd

‘A Place to Pee’ – Improving Public Toilet Provision in Pontypridd

Rev Peter Lewis, Pontypridd Area Deanery

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This campaign came from my experience as a street pastor in Pontypridd town centre and seeing the problems caused during the night times at weekends when people have nowhere to go when they need to go! There are problems in terms of the welfare and security of people, and particularly for women. There is pollution and degradation of the environment, and there is pain and frustration for people in not being able to find anywhere to go.

 

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Community Energy - A New Frontier for Community Organising?

Jonathan Cox
Lead Organiser, Citizens Cymru Wales

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Just before Easter I was invited on a 'Knowledge Exchange' visit to a community-owned renewable energy project on the western end of the Brecon Beacons near Gwaun Cae Gurwen.  The most exciting bit was the chance to see a working wind turbine up close - and to go inside it!  The wind turbine itself was majestic and hypnotic - but the inspiring stories I was told about community ownership of renewable energy sources in Wales made me think if this was something our member organisations in Wales might want to explore. We have shown how we can apply our community organising method to sponsoring refugees - why not to generating renewable energy and tackling fuel poverty? We are gathering some Citizens leaders to have an initial discussion with Community Energy Wales soon, so if you are interested, let me know on jonathan.cox@citizenswales.org.uk.  In the meantime, hope you enjoy the following article.

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Community Sponsors in Aberystwyth Welcome their First Syrian Family

Welcoming a new refugee family through community sponsorship

Siôn Meredith, Aberaid

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Photo - Siôn and members of the team of volunteers at the airport to welcome a family from Syria

Aberaid is a group of concerned people in Aberystwyth who formed in response to the refugee crisis and who came together to sponsor a refugee family to come and live in our community.

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Croeso Hwlffordd Welcome a Syrian Family to Haverfordwest

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Photo - Jeff and members of the team at the airport to welcome a family from Syria

Welcoming a new family through Community Sponsorship

Jeff Britten, Croeso Hwlffordd

Croeso Hwlffordd came about as a result of me meeting people involved in community sponsorship in Narberth and Fishguard. I felt ashamed that there was nothing happening in Haverfordwest, the much bigger county town, and I saw that community sponsorship was a practical way for us to do something to respond to the suffering of people in Syria.

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A Report from our Representative on the Citizens UK Council

Citizens Cymru Wales is a Chapter of Citizens UK.  We are entitled to send up to 8 leaders from Wales to represent us at the Citizens UK Council, which deals with political and campaign issues at UK level.  Alan Twelvetrees from Swansea is a co-opted member of the Citizens Cymru Wales Leadership Team, and one of our representatives on the Citizens UK Council.  Here Alan briefs us on recent developments...

Citizens UK Council Issues

Neil Jameson is stepping down from his role as Executive Director of Citizens UK in August this year. There has been much consultation with council members as to the best process to use to appoint a successor. Those who wanted to have a say have been able to make a contribution. Matthew Bolton, currently one of two Deputy Directors, was recently appointed to be the new Executive Director.

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Citizens Cymru Wales hold Living Wage protest at Cardiff Airport

Supporters of a campaign initiated by security workers at Cardiff Airport held a protest today calling for the airport to become an accredited Living Wage employer - and ensure that all airport workers are lifted out of poverty pay. 

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Citizens Call for World Cup Living Wage Commitment

Last night, Wednesday October 22nd, over 800 people, representing 100 local groups came together at Eglwys y Tabernacl on the Hayes, Cardiff, to attend the Cardiff Citizens and Vale of Glamorgan Citizens Founding Assembly and ratify a series of social justice campaigns they would work on together over the next five years, with the most immediate being a call to make the Rugby World Cup 2015 deliver a legacy of Living Wage jobs for Wales.

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