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East London

TELCO (The East London Citizens Organisation) is the founding Chapter of Citizens UK. We are a powerful alliance of over 80 civil society institutions comprised of trade unions, faith groups, charities, schools and universities, all working together to make East London a better place to live.

We organise communities to act together for social justice and the common good, developing the leadership capacity of our members so they can hold our cities' decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them. TELCO has a proud 20-year history. We pioneered the Living Wage campaign; Community Land Trust Housing; Ethical Olympics; and Good Jobs for young people. In addition to these successful campaigns, we are currently working on new campaigns on hate crime; mental health; and energy poverty. If your institution is not yet in membership, we'd love to have a conversation with you. Involvement in a Citizens UK alliance is one of the best ways for you and your organisation to make a tangible difference in your borough and London wide, whilst developing the leadership skills and capacity of your membership.

To arrange a sit down with one of our organisers, contact: emmanuel.gotora@citizensuk.org

Sign up for updates from this chapter here.


Paddington waits to hear how many Redbridge can take


Cllr Athwal agrees to resettle children under the Dubs Amendment, does not specify how many, but will give further clarity in meeting with Redbridge Citizens after visiting Calais.

On Wednesday 31 August 2016, 27 leaders from Redbridge Citizens, dressed as Paddington bears, met with Leader of Redbridge, Jas Athwal, and Deputy Leader, Elaine Norman, on the steps of the Redbridge Town Hall, to ask the council to resettle 5 refugee children from Calais who have the right to be brought to safety in the UK. This latest action is part of a 2 year campaign that Redbridge Citizens has been running to resettle Syrians in the Borough. Thus far, 9 councils in London, including Ealing, Kingston, Barnet, Lambeth, Hackney, Camden and Islington, have participated in the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. However, Redbridge has not resettled a single Syrian refugee, nor do they have a plan to do so, according to a recent Freedom of Information request carried out by Citizens UK.

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Community demands 300 homes on the Boleyn Development


On Thursday 11th February, members of Newham Citizens called on Newham Council to reject planning proposals for anything less than 35% affordable homes on the Boleyn Ground development in Upton Park. This equates to 300 homes on the site. Led by school children from St Antony’s Primary School, residents of Caritas Anchor House and community leaders from Newham Sixth Form College, St. Margarets, Canning Town, Bryant Street Methodist Church, Ursuline Convent, and St Antony’s Church, Forest Gate, Newham Citizens handed a letter co-signed by various community leaders as part of the Council’s Community Re-Consultation on Affordable Housing on the Boleyn ground.

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Redbridge Valentine's Action on Social Care


On 11th February 2016, Redbridge Citizens, an alliance of 7 civil society organisations representing 6500 people, took another step towards ensuring that Care Workers in the Borough are paid the London Living Wage. 

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TELCO Delegates Assembly - Housing Crisis: Taking back ownership of London


TELCO Delegates assembly on 17th November saw 250 people from across 70 institutions in 5 East London boroughs come together to ratify an ambitious housing agenda for the Mayoral Election. 

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Redbridge Citizens leads CLT action on Council


Thursday 19th November saw 83 leaders from 3 organisations leading an action on Redbridge Council. Having waited for 40, John Clifton of the Salvation Army was able to ask the Leader of the Council Jas Athwal whether he would support the Fairness Commission Recommendation to build 2 Community Land Trusts (CLT) in the Borough. This was followed by all the leaders standing with their #2CLT posters and TELCO banners.

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Redbridge Citizens: ‘Recognised as the Champions of Living Wage and CLTs at Fairness Commission’


No meaningful change comes without hard work and perseverance. But careful, consistent community organising builds the power we need for social justice. After 18 months of meetings, strategising, actions and negotiations, Redbridge Citizens’ agenda of the Living Wage and Affordable Housing was well recognised at the Redbridge Fairness Commission on 18 August 2015.

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David and Goliath: Newham School Children Voice Concerns Over Boleyn Development


The end of the school year is always a hectic time, especially for primary schools. In Forest Gate, east London, the excitement is reaching fever pitch as a group of 10 and 11 year-olds at Antony’s Primary School put their final touches to letters addressed to Newham Council’s Planning Officer. They are preparing for a housing march to the West Ham football ground on Tuesday 14th July. They are chatty and playful as they as they summarise their thoughts on paper, but don't let their age or size fool you. These pint-sized citizens can pack a punch when it comes to expressing their opinions.

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TELCO award Living Wage Champion status to University of East London


On Wednesday 24 June members of The East London Community Organisation presented UEL’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Joughin, with a plaque acknowledging the university’s work in promoting the London Living Wage.  A large banner was unveiled calling on other organisations in the Royal Docks Enterprise Zone to do the same. The event which was organised by students on the university’s London Scholars programme, launched the first phase of a campaign for the Royal Docks to become one of the first a Living Wage Zones in the country. 

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Mind the pay gap! Newham Citizens call on London City Airport to pay cleaners the London Living Wage


On Wednesday 24 June members of The East London Community Organisers (TELCO), part of national community organising charity, Citizens UK, called on London City Airport to pay cleaners the London Living Wage. TELCO members will join University of East London students on the London Scholars civic engagement programme to persuade airport management to ensure that cleaners who are employed externally are paid the Living Wage, currently £9.15 per hour for London.

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Atkins wins London Citizens Business of the Year Award

Atkins has been named ‘Business of the Year’ by community group London Citizens for its ongoing London 2012 legacy work. The award recognises the success of an Atkins internship programme which is providing employment opportunities for youngsters from the East London boroughs which hosted the Olympic and Paralympic Games. To date, twenty interns have gained invaluable work experience at Atkins, with six going on to secure full-time employment with the company.

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