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Brent Action Group Working to Support Refugees

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Leaders in Brent came together to establish a #RefugeesWelcome support group, expressing solidarity and support with the refugees fleeing violence and unrest in Syria and other war-torn countries.

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Leeds Citizens Call for Living Wage

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Leeds Citizens held several actions during Living Wage Week to celebrate the achievements of Living Wage Employers and encourage others to pay the voluntary rate. Events included:

- Actions at 2 Lidl stores on Sunday 1st November, congratulating the store for its October pay rise and encouraging them to become accredited as Living Wage Employers.

- The Living Wage rate announcement was made on Monday 2nd Nov in Leeds City Centre, featuring helium balloons and leaders delivering letters to local law firms. 

- Wednesday 4th November saw the Living Wage Action team agree to focus their campaign on Leeds City Centre Employers, and seek a relationship with the new Leeds Business Improvement District (BID).

- A Living Wage Tea Celebration was held on Thursday 5th November, hosted by 2 employers with beautiful Living Wage cakes, filming of a video from another Living Wage employer and lots of tea. 

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Artwork calls for Tate Modern to pay the Living Wage

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Priests, Rabbis, and community leaders from South London Citizens presented an artwork to the Tate Modern on Saturday calling on Tate Director, Sir Nicholas Serota, to pay the Living Wage.

 

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Lewisham Citizens sell Community Land Trust Shares

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Lewisham Citizens celebrate selling 500 community land trust shares.  Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said 'I would love to buy a share myself but I think there would be too many conflicts of interest'. The Mayor agreed to continue to use all of his powers to push through a Lewisham Citizens Community Land Trust project and ensure that the group receive a letter of intent regarding a piece of land in Lewisham just before or just after Christmas. St William of York RC church sold over 250 shares.  

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Government cleaners punished for asking for the Living Wage

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14 cleaners at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are being punished for signing a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond MP.

The cleaners signed a letter on the 21st July congratulating Hammond on his new role and seeking a meeting to discuss the Living Wage.

Six weeks later, they received a letter from their employer, Interserve, contracted by the FCO, initiating a disciplinary process, with the letter to the Minister attached as evidence. 

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#RefugeesWelcome Vigil Calling on the Prime Minister to Resettle 1000 refugees before Christmas

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On Tuesday 13 October, over 900 leaders from Citizens UK called on Prime Minister, David Cameron to break the deadlock between central government and local councils to enable Syrian refugees to be brought to the UK before freezing temperatures see more children die in refugee camps in the region.

This was also an opportunity to announce the progress that our teams have made around the country, including securing:

  • 40 Councils that have committed to resettling at least 50 refugees despite the holdup of ongoing negotiations over the financial deal with government, the total pledged is 3,047
  • 25 Universities – have committed £3.5 million worth of scholarships to fund 147 places for Syrians
  • Landlords – 727 private landlords have registered their properties to be used by Syrian refugees
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Community Groups and Healthcare Professionals Launch Southwark-Based Community Organising Project to Give Every Child The Best Start in Life

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Wednesday 30th September saw the launch of “Strengthening Babies’ Futures”, a pioneering community organising project bringing together parents, community groups, maternity services and academics to improve support for parents in Southwark, in order to reduce health inequalities and give children the best start in life.

 “Strengthening Babies’ Futures” is being led by Southwark Citizens, part of the national community organising charity Citizens UK, in collaboration with Guy’s and St Thomas’, Kings College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts and Kings College London, the four organisations that make up King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre.

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Barnet Council Agrees to Resettle 50 Syrian Refugees After Barnet Citizens Organise Landlords, Employers, Schools and GPs On St Vincent De Paul’s Feast Day

“Rabbi, the answer is yes”

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Barnet Citizens, part of national community organising charity, Citizens UK, organised a ‘Sanctuary Succot in Barnet’ on 27th September – St Vincent de Paul’s feast day – as part of its campaign to persuade Barnet Council to welcome 50 Syrian refugees into the community – resulting in the Leader of the Council, Richard Cornelius responding “Rabbi, the answer is yes” to Barnet signing up to the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

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Foul play in the Premier League? Campaigning for the Living Wage

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The University of Birmingham's College of Social Sciences joined Citizens UK Birmingham as a principal partner last year. Yvonne Sawbridge is a Senior Fellow at the Health Services Management Centre, and also an Aston Villa fan. She has become centrally involved in the campaign to persuade Aston Villa to become the first Living Wage football club in the Midlands. This is an article she wrote for the School of Social Policy blog.

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Citizens UK welcomes removal of payday lender’s inappropriate marketing slogan

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Community leaders from Citizens UK welcomed the removal of payday lender Speedy Cash’s advertising slogan ‘you are not aloan, we are here if you need us’ from stores this weekend.

The move comes weeks after leaders from Citizens UK, working with lawyer Jacob Turner, filed a complaint to Camden Council about the slogan on the grounds that it could mislead vulnerable people into thinking that Speedy Cash was a form of support service rather than a payday lender.

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