New Citizens Legal Service Newsletter

NCLS thumbRead the highlights of the first year of the New Citizens Legal Service in their April 2014 newsletter. Available to download here: NCLS Newsletter – April 2014

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Posted in All, Citizens UK, Citizens UK Diaspora Caucus, Community Organising, New Citizens Legal Service

Croydon Citizens ‘cross’ at dangerous road: Community alliance calls for longer green man at unsafe crossing



Community leaders from Croydon Citizens took action on Sunday to highlight a dangerous pedestrian crossing in Thornton Heath.

The leaders, dressed in green, crossed the road between Tesco and Superdrug on Brigstock Road in Thornton Heath behind elderly and disabled peers to show how difficult it is to get across safely before the green man turns red.

The leaders held banners saying ‘give us time to cross’ and ‘stay green for longer’ in an attempt to send a clear message to Transport for London (TfL) who are responsible for all traffic lights and crossings in Croydon.

Croydon Citizens has written to TfL to request a meeting. TfL has requested more information before it will confirm that it is prepared to meet and discuss the issue.

Marion Cordell, parishioner at St Andrews RC Church in Thornton Heath, and member of Croydon Citizens said:

“I have to use a walker to get around. I always wait for the green man before I cross the road but at this crossing it goes out too quickly for me to get across.”

Frances Gilbert, a leader in Croydon Citizens said:

“I feel quite nervous every time I use this crossing as the green man goes out as you reach half way over the road. I am deeply concerned about those who are disabled, elderly and or have young children.  We need more time to get across safely and I hope TfL meets with us to sort this out immediately.”

The green man crossing concerns came to light through Croydon Citizens’ listening campaign which identifies issues affecting the local community.


Croydon Citizens is an alliance of schools, churches and other faith and community groups. It is the Croydon branch of Citizens UK.

Citizens UK works to develop the capacity and skills of socially and economically disadvantaged communities so that their members are better able to identify and help meet their own needs; improve their neighbourhood; and participate more fully in society.

For more information contact James Asfa on 07739914225 or

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Posted in All, Citizens UK, Community Organising, London Citizens, Press Release, South London

Southwark Citizens come together and act on the issue of child destitution


IMG_4574In Southwark many children are living in poverty, going to school after having a night of sleep on somebody else’s couch and going without basics such as warm clothes, toys and food. Southwark Citizens, a local branch of national community organising charity Citizens UK, have come together to offer immediate support to these children and their families and launched the first Southwark Baby Bank Lunch on Friday 4th April at the Salvation Army in Camberwell Green.

Janet Martin, Southwark Citizens member from the Salvation Army said:

“We know that families in our community are struggling. We want to do something that’s friendly and informal so those mums and dads who would benefit from some help can come along and feel supported by their neighbors. Raising a family is a tough job, made even harder when the cost of living is so high. Little ones grow so quickly, clothes and toys can be passed on to someone else who needs them next.”

A baby bank is where parents in need can come and get the essentials such as nappies and clothes that they are not able to provide from their own means, much like a food bank. Similarly to food banks, parents using the baby bank will also be offered access to other support services.

IMG_4644It is tragic that we need a baby bank in the first place but this a practical step of action being taken by one of Southwark Citizens member institutions. Local nurseries, schools, faith institutions and parents have been invited to support this action and also invite families that will benefit from the baby bank services.

Child destitution is one of the biggest issues on  the Southwark Citizens agenda and together with the MumSpace project, a space for local mums to get together and support one another, we will be discussing how we can work together with the local authority to put an end to child destitution in our borough. The solutions and ideas will be put to local politicians at the Southwark Citizens Assembly that will take place on Tuesday 22nd April ahead of the local election in May.

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Posted in All, Citizens UK, Community Organising, London Citizens, Press Release, South London