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Citizens Cymru Wales

Founded in October 2014, Citizens Cymru Wales builds diverse alliances of communities organising for power, social justice and the common good.

Our member organisations are are churches, schools, mosques, unions and other civil society organisation that have:

  • deep roots in their community;
  • an interest in developing people to become effective community leaders;
  • a vision for greater social justice;
  • a willingness to turn that vision into action for the common good;
  • a hunger for change which local people can see, taste or touch.

We are non-partisan, but we promote greater democratic participation in public life. Our broad-based community organising method (read more here) helps ordinary people to get a seat at the table with those in power and negotiate for change on the local issues they care about.

Since 2014, Citizens Cymru Wales campaigns have resulted in:

  • £15 million of extra wages for Welsh workers from the campaign we lead for the Real Living Wage (figures from Cardiff Business School);
  • the resettlement of Syrian refugees across Wales, and the pioneering of Community Sponsorship in Narberth, Fishguard, Aberystwyth and Haverfordwest;
  • numerous local campaigns, such as the provision of a new Zebra crossing on the Gurnos, the first Halal Nando’s in Cardiff, and the development of dementia-friendly Zimmers.

If this resonates with you and your organisation, please get in touch to find out how you can become a member organisation.

You can sign up to our monthly newsletter here.

News

Citizens Cymru Wales win Sheila McKechnie Foundation award for Best Community Campaign

Nirushan, a leader from Cymru Wales, virtually collects the Sheila McKechnie award for Best Community Campaign in 2020Nirushan Sudarsan virtually collects the Sheila McKechnie Foundation award for Best Community Campaign in 2020 for Citizens Cymru's Community Jobs Compact work. 

 

The Sheila McKechnie Foundation  hosted their annual National Campaigner award ceremony on Wed 30th September 2020, celebrating the best local and national campaigners making change in their communities.

Citizens UK leaders were nominated twice in the Best Community Campaign award, which awards campaigns run on a local community level.

And we are proud to announce that Citizens Cymru Wales won the award for Best Community Campaign!

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How this podcast is helping the Somali community talk about mental health

Uni students Hakima, Hamdah and Laila who created the Somali Mindfulness Podcast smiling at the camera.

From left to right: Hakima, Hamdah and Laila who created the Somali Mindfulness Podcast to help their local community open up about their mental health.

For many of us, opening up about mental health struggles is a tough, but necessary, conversation.

And Cymru Citizens UK leaders Hakima, Hamdah and Laila are helping their local Somali community do just that. They are the creators and hosts of the Somali Mindfulness Podcast, a safe space where they discuss a range of issues relating to mental health. 

We spoke to Hakima about the inspirations to create the podcast, how older generations are dealing with their own trauma, and her number one tip for anyone struggling with their mental health right now.  

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Download our exam results guide for young people in Wales

As young people in Wales, we know how hard exam stress can get.

And as a result of the pandemic, it's been a more stressful time for students than ever before.

We've heard our friends and other young people in our community speak about their fears, including fears around predicted grades for students from disadvantaged areas and BAME students.

With nearly 40% of grades being lower than expected upon initial release, and even now with government changing their approach and teachers given grades reinstated, many young people are confused and concerned about what this means for their education or careers.

That's why we have created a resource pack for young people who are stressed about their exam results or uncertain about their future.

This guide is packed with information on different groups and organisations out there to help any young people who need support in Wales.

Download our exam results handbook now

 

From how to appeal exam results, to mentoring and apprenticeship guidance - this guide is filled with resources to help young people take the next step and be supported. 

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Calls For Local Employment in Cardiff Bay with the Launch of the Community Jobs Compact

By Mari Arthur, Cynnal Cymru and Nirushan Sudarsan, leader with Cardiff Citizens

Cynnal Cymru in partnership with Citizens Cymru Wales and IKEA hosted the launch of the Bay Citizens’ Community Jobs Compact back in February 2017. The event brought together large and small businesses from across Cardiff to discuss ethical recruitment and employment practices with members of the community in Butetown, Grangetown and Riverside.

The compact came out of a lot of one-to-one conversations and a listening campaign in the local community which made it clear that unfair employment practices and a lack of local employment opportunities existed, particularly in areas in and around Butetown and Grangetown.

 

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‘Extend the Welcome’

By Ibby Osman, student at Cathays High School Cardiff

Leaders from Citizens Cymru Wales joined chapters from across the Citizens UK network for the Citizens UK Civil Society Summit in London on 29 June this year. Nirushan Sudarasan, Ibby Osman and Abdi Osman were among the Welsh cohort that traveled up to celebrate Citizens UK’s 30th anniversary, hosted amazingly by Kings College London on the Strand.

It was an amazing and inspiring day with lots of fascinating testimony from so many leaders including a resettled Syrian family from Milton Keynes whose children are flourishing in school. They took to the stage to launch the ‘Extend the Welcome’ campaign – which is all about making sure the UK government continues to resettle refugees once the current programme ends in 2020.

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Cynlluniau i groesawu teulu o Syria i Ogledd Cymru drwy nawdd cymunedol / Plans to welcome a Syrian family to North Wales through community sponsorship

By Catherine Griffiths, Croeso Menai

On July 4th Croeso Menai held its first public meeting in Emaus Chapel, Bangor, to explore the possibility of community sponsorship in the Bangor/Menai Bridge area. Although we now have several Syrian families living locally through resettlement under the council-led programme, so far there have been no areas in North Wales considering community sponsorship. And what a turnout! We had around 45 enthusiastic participants who, by the end, voted overwhelmingly to continue with the project and bring a refugee family to North Wales. 

 

Gan Catherine Griffiths, Croeso Menai

Ar Orffennaf 4ydd, cynhaliodd Croeso Menai eu cyfarfod cyhoeddus cyntaf yn Eglwys Emaus, Bangor, i ystyried y posibilrwydd o nawdd cymunedol yn ardal Bangor / Porthaethwy. Er bod gennym lawer o deuluoedd o Syria yn byw yn lleol trwy’r cynllun ailsefydlu o dan arweiniad y cyngor, hyd yn hyn ni fu unrhyw ardal yng Ngogledd Cymru ddechrau grŵp nawdd cymunedol i ffoaduriaid. A daeth criw da i’r cyfarfod! Roedd gennym oddeutu 45 o gyfranogwyr brwdfrydig a oedd, erbyn y diwedd, wedi pleidleisio'n frwd i barhau gyda'r prosiect er mwyn dod â theulu o ffoaduriaid i Ogledd Cymru.

 

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Community Leadership Taster Training Course - 17 October 2018 in Pontypridd

Here is the flyer invite for our next taster training on 17 October in Pontypridd

Email richard.weaver@citizenswales.org.uk for more information and to book your place on this training

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A very different place now - a reflection on Citizens UK national community organising training

By Fr Dean Atkins, St Mary’s Church Butetown, Church in Wales Diocese of Llandaff

I am exhausted and ready to go home.  As people leave - even the trainers too -  I am left alone in the hotel.  It feels a very different place now.  The space has reinvented itself, become just another hotel.  A family books in at reception.  They wait for their room.  The children look tired.  At last, their room is ready. They pull their suitcases behind them.

Six days ago I checked in for the Citizens UK Training in Community Leadership - an hour late -  and was soon plunged into a leadership roleplay as I tried to work out what was happening and what my role this week would be, dazzled by the diversity of those participating, moved by the stories, the experiences, the sheer emotion of those who want to change the world!  These were “power hungry” people, a phrase which has very different meaning for me now than when I first arrived.  Power is no longer a dirty word.

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Croeso Penarth approved to sponsor a Syrian refugee family… at last!

By Lesley Cox, Croeso Penarth

In June 2017 we enthusiastically began our Community Sponsorship journey, never guessing that more than a year later we still would not have welcomed a refugee family to our town.

In April 2017, a small group of interested individuals met together following a Citizens Cymru Wales event where the Community Sponsorship scheme was described. After talking through the requirements, we unanimously agreed that we wanted to go for it! In June we held our first public meeting and this view was supported by all present, and shared by many in the town in the following months. Croeso Penarth has the active support of all the churches, people of most political persuasions and of many individuals  who  strongly believe that this is something positive that Penarth can do to help one family in need at this time. We love living in Penarth and want to offer a family who has experienced the horror of war and the loss of their home, the opportunity to come and settle in our town. We also have a number of people who have offered time and expertise to help them settle here and to learn the language.

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Citizens UK at the 2018 Greenbelt Festival: Acts of the Imagination!

Citizens UK is taking part in the 2018 Greenbelt Festival: Acts of the Imagination! Greenbelt is a vibrant arts festival which takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend (25-27 August). It's organised by Christians with an emphasis on social justice and inclusion. See www.greenbelt.org.uk for lots more information on the festival and the programme for the weekend.

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