At Citizens UK, we're energised for change. We bring together everyday people and local organisations to build community-led solutions to big and small problems, that work for everyone.
Together, we have a proven track record of winning change on the things that you and your community care about most, from campaigning for zebra crossings on dangerous roads, to reforming the immigration system, to the Living Wage campaign.
Living Wage Campaign
Winning over £2 billion back into the pockets of low paid workers.
The Living Wage Campaign is a movement of people, businesses and communities working together to end the injustice of in-work poverty.
Everyone needs a decent standard of living to thrive.
Launched by Citizens UK in 2001, the Living Wage campaign has won over £2 billion of additional wages, lifting over 300,000 people out of working poverty.
The campaign grew rapidly due to the strength and diversity of Citizens UK leaders, with cleaners, teachers, hospital workers, faith leaders and migrant communities coming together to overcome the injustice of low pay. They won support across the political spectrum, influencing Government powerholders such as Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Nick Clegg to back those early calls and introduce a higher minimum wage nationally. Whilst we still campaign for a real Living Wage which truly takes into account the cost of living, these leaders and the thousands working on this campaign since have undoubtedly altered the course of the UK's pay landscape forever.
Our wins include accrediting giant corporations such as HSBC, securing the London 2012 Olympic bid for all 3,000 employees to be paid a real Living Wage, and winning £19 million in pay rises for care workers by convincing England's largest provider of specialist housing and care for older people, Anchor Hannover, to pay its staff a real Living Wage.
Today 13,000 businesses voluntarily pay the real Living Wage with the movement growing into sector and employment specific campaigns and initiatives such as Living Wage for Social Care, Making London a Living Wage City, Living Hours and Living Pensions.
Refugee and Migration
We’re building a powerful movement to welcome refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.
We want to make sure that everyone in our community and our country can flourish and live with dignity. Through community organising, communities have won monumental change from resettlement to citizenship campaigns. Our largest assembly, hosted in 2010, saw 2000 Citizens UK members make demands to then party leaders, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Gordon Brown - leading to commitments which included stopping the detention of children for immigration purposes.
Since then, communities have continued to win monumental citizenship campaigns such as reducing child Citizenship fees and winning Free School Meals for children with families on No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) status.
In 2015, angered by increasingly dehumanising rhetoric about refugees trying to reach the UK and with thousands including unaccompanied children being stranded in inhumane conditions in Calais, Citizens UK started a movement to reunite families. We changed the law through our Safe Passage programme, providing a safe pathway for thousands of children to arrive safely in the UK. In 2016, Citizens UK became one of the leading civil society partners helping the Government to design, produce, and launch the community sponsorship scheme, supporting refugees from all over the world to find safety in the UK. Since then, the scheme has helped over 350 communities to welcome over 600 refugees into safety and counting.
Winning change on the things that you and your community care about most.
From singing songs to sending valentine's day letters, our actions get creative and more importantly, they win change, both nationally and locally.
In Lewisham, leaders ran a listening campaign in 2013 bringing to light one clear shared issue – affordable housing. This led to winning the first Community Land Trust in London that has been created by the community and developed 11 permanently affordable homes at Citizens House.
In Nottingham, fed up with the harassment of women and girls on public transport Muslim leaders organised with women's groups, universities and other civil society members. Together, they convinced Nottinghamshire to become the first constabulary in the country to start treating misogyny (the hatred of women) as a hate crime. This inspired Citizens UK leaders in other regions including in London and Manchester to take action, winning support from Mayors Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham. The work of other alliances has also contributed to seven police forces across the UK also recognising misogyny as a hate crime. Alongside this, leaders' work with key Members of Parliament has contributed to misogyny officially being recognised as a driving factor of harassment crime in legislation.
These changes did not happen overnight. Through organising, leaders built energy and shifted the balance of power back to people's hands through local Assemblies, hundreds of local actions, hours of media work and getting a seat at the table with decision-makers. What started as an idea for change in Nottingham has transformed the way our society talks about and fights violence against women.
Hear from the leaders who won change in more stories of local organising across Citizens UK on our podcast: Everyday People Making Change.