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Dropping Anchor at Greenbelt Festival During Turbulent Times

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Glastonbury shaped by the Gospel.” Nick Wyke, The Times.

Citizens UK has teamed up with Greenbelt Festivals as an associate partner, and will join them at the Common Good Festival this year to celebrate four days of music, arts, activism, ideas, faith and spirituality. The annual event takes place at the idylic Broughton House, near Kettering, Northamptonshire, on Bank Holiday Weekend, 25-28th August.

The Greenbelt Festival is in its fourth year at this venue and organisers welcome all to the event, saying: “We’re sailing in a strange boat. Here we are in 2017. A year that feels more uncertain than any we can remember. As we enter unchartered waters, we need a safe haven to head for. Somewhere to drop anchor. To get our bearings. To plot a new course. So, we are inviting you aboard the good ship Greenbelt this summer. We think that she might just be our best way forward. Together. For The Common Good.”

Citizens UK executive director, Neil Jameson, says: “We are so looking forward to celebrating The Common Good at the Greenbelt Festival on this August Bank Holiday weekend. It will be a chance for us all to socialise, re-fuel and reflect on the year ahead, in the company of friends and fellow campaigners. Some of us are still reeling from the changes of the past year and it will be great to get together, have fun and prepare for the challenges ahead.”

 

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Strengthening Democracy by Strengthening Civil Society event

 Anglican and Higher Education leaders discuss opportunity of Citizens UK's Growth strategy

Citizens UK announced their Growth strategy at an event, "Strengthening Democracy by Strengthening Civil Society", on Friday 17th February, alongside the Rt Rev'd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham; Prof. Saul Becker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of University of Birmingham and other leaders from the Church of England and Higher Education sector. The event discussed opportunities following a successful Big Lottery bid to expand Community Organising to ten Growth areas where Citizens UK has been invited to build or expand alliances.

The proposed Growth areas include: Brighton, Colchester, Kirklees, Lancashire, London, Portsmouth, Southampton, Sunderland, Taunton and West Midlands.

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Building a city of sanctuary

A series of measures to help refugees and asylum seekers feel safe and supported in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire have been backed by key decision-makers in the city and county.

Representatives of the city and county councils and the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire gave commitments to work with each other and Nottingham Citizens to enhance the welcome and re-settlement support received by people seeking sanctuary here.

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Redbridge Citizens letter supports bar on supermarket homes plan

Support for Redbridge Council’s decision to refuse Sainsbury’s planning permission in Ilford due to a lack of affordable housing

We, the undersigned, would like our support to be noted for Redbridge Council’s decision to refuse planning permission to Sainsbury’s Supermarket Ltd’s proposed housing development at 55 Roden Street, Ilford, IF1 2AA on the basis that only 4% of the 683 homes included in the 33 story development were classified as ‘affordable’ (17 for social rent and 10 ‘intermediate’ homes). This is despite the well acknowledged fact that there is an urgent need for affordable housing for local people in Redbridge.

 

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Interview with the Fast Forward Four

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Last year Malwina, Tia-Nicole, Ahmed and Muawiyah completed Fast Forward - a 6 month intensive training programme delivered by OMD International, Citizens UK and JP Morgan - securing a competitive 9 month internship at OMD at the end. During their internship they have been working on various projects with companies like Carlsberg, Bacardi, Hilton and Heinz. We caught up with them half-way through their internship to talk about their experience of working among professionals for a global media agency. 

 

Photograph (left to right): Ahmed Abdirahman, Tia-Nicole Knight-McIntosh, Malwina Hill and Muawiyah Manley.

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Interview with Sanna Shabir from Atkins - Good Jobs Campaign Alumni

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Sanna Shabir is one of the first participants on a Good Jobs Campaign programme. Sanna heard about the programme while studying at Sir George Monoux Sixth Form College (member of TELCO). She has been employed by Atkins since the programme finished as a civil engineering technician apprentice and is currently studying civil engineering on a degree level in order to take her career even further. Sanna is an inspiration for those who are considering participating in the Good Jobs Programme or becoming an engineer.

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Citizens UK calls on Premier League clubs to become Living Wage Employers

 

Citizens UK have sent open letters to the chairmen of West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal Football Clubs calling on them to follow the recent commitment by Everton FC to become a Living Wage club.

 Despite the Premier League announcing in 2015 that their clubs must pay all of their directly employed staff a Living Wage - that is not extended to many of the sub-contracted staff on match days who are often on low pay.

 

 

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North London Open House Encourages Landlords to Rent to Syrian Refugees

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Community groups supported by North London Citizens, part of Citizens UK, are holding an Open House this Thursday to show landlords that renting homes to Syrian refugees families can be a life-changing experience for everyone involved - and make financial sense.

Paul Eedle of Muswell Hill Methodist Church, which is working to bring a Syrian family to the UK under the government’s new Community Sponsorship scheme, and Atia Lokhat-Hafezjee, a landlord who has rented a flat to a newly-arrived Syrian family in Tottenham, have organised the event to confront head-on the suspicions which many landlords have of renting to families on housing benefit.

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Interview with Andrew Attfield, Barts Health NHS Trust

Andrew Attfield works for one of the partner employers on the Good Jobs Campaign - Barts Health NHS Trust. His role as an Associate Director for Public Health is to work on health improvement of the community. Some of Andrew's responsibilities include implementation of a Trust-wide smoke-free policy, alcohol screening and oversight of work addressing the wider determinants of health including local employment. We spoke to Andrew about the benefits the Good Jobs Programme brings to Barts Health NHS Trust and why they are a Principal Partner.

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Greater Manchester Citizens send message to show we want to build bridges and not walls

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Greater Manchester Citizens, a chapter of the national community organising group Citizens UK are dong an action this coming Friday 20th January bringing together communities to show solidarity towards immigrants and refugees with the rest of the world. On the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the USA, banners will be dropped from bridges across the country to send a simple, hopeful message: we will build bridges, not walls in the face of hate, fear, lies and division.

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