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Merton Citizens

WHO ARE WE?

Merton Citizens is the local Alliance part of South London Citizens made up of 15 local member organisations from across the borough, including schools, religious institutions and non-profit organisations that work together towards a common purpose.

Following an extensive Listening Campaign and Accountability Assembly, we are working on four key priorities affecting our local communities – mental health, housing, the Living Wage, and welcoming refugees, migrants and asylum seekers.

Check out the Merton Citizens member institutions on this map.

OUR PRIORITIES

Based on listening to communities from across Merton, we have democratically elected the following priorities:

  • Housing – Affordable, good-quality housing is a priority for Merton Citizens, and we have been organising to improve housing standards as well as provide more affordable and social housing in the borough. More recently, we have also focused our attention on improving the relationship between the council and those in housing need.
  • Mental Health – Born out of the stories of students at Wimbledon College and St Mark’s Academy, Merton Citizens fostered a relationship with South West London St George’s mental health trusts that grew into a South London-wide initiative, South London Listens. Today, we focus on equipping local mental health champions and institutions to listen and take action around mental health.
  • Welcome – Our focus is on ensuring Merton is a welcoming place to migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, primarily by pushing the council to become a Borough of Sanctuary.
  • Living Wage – We are holding the council to hold them to account on their commitment to become an accredited Living Wage employer, and hope to work with them to encourage other local businesses to do the same.

To learn more about the changes we are organising for in the borough, check out our manifesto.

OUR ACHIEVEMENTS

Since our founding in 2018, we have:

  1. Successfully campaigned local authorities to shift £1.85m of their budget towards mental health services, particularly for children and adolescents
  2. We were some of the first in the country to resettle a refugee family through the Community Sponsorship scheme in Raynes Park Community Church (Salvation Army), and have gotten the council to join the Lift the Ban Coalition
  3. Gotten Merton Council to commit to becoming a Living Wage accredited employer, uplifting local residents and setting an example for business across the borough
  4. Worked with Merton Council on an empathy-first training to be delivered by YMCA residents with experience of homelessness, to improve the relationships between council staff and those in housing need and create mutual understanding

Find out more about our current work and most recent achievements in our newsletter.

CONNECT WITH US

If you are interested in creating change, developing leaders and strengthening your institution, please get in touch with the local Merton Citizens organiser: vitoria.russo-gaino@citizensuk.org.

You can learn more about the benefits of becoming a Citizens UK member and find out more about Merton Citizens on our website or on Twitter (@mertoncitizens).