As Co-chairs of Citizens Cymru Wales, we are very excited to introduce the first of many newsletters aimed at keeping you right up-to-date with the actions, challenges and successes of our Citizens Chapter. Since our founding assembly in October of 2014 our alliance of civil society institutions, including churches, mosques, trade unions, schools, colleges and community organisations, has gone from strength to strength. As a chapter of Citizens UK we have been busy ‘reweaving the fabric of society’, using community organising approaches to build relationships, challenge injustice and hold the powerful to account.
These newsletters will give you a flavour of the breadth and diversity of issues we are seeking to tackle together, including low pay, refugee resettlement, and community safety. They will also provide a chance to find out more about the people who make up our institutions, folk who represent many of Wales’ diverse ethnic, religious and geographical communities who are building friendships, finding things in common and supporting each other to make change.
We intend to distribute further newsletters in July, September and November this year, and on into next year. Please keep an eye out for them. Use them to learn about the issues that are impacting on our communities and to keep up to speed with Citizens Cymru Wales actions. We hope they may challenge you, with your institutions, to join us in acting for social justice and the common good.
A Living Wage for Cardiff Airport
We marked International Workers’ Day by holding a protest at Cardiff Airport calling on the Airport to pay its workers the real Living Wage now, as opposed to in 2020. Read our blog to find out how the action went.
You can still take action online in support of this important campaign by writing to your local Assembly Member. Click here to use our email template.
Speaking of the Living Wage, Cardiff Citizens mobilised into action when they heard the recent news of Cardiff City Football Club being promoted back to the Premier League. Read this blog to learn all about it and take a look at this article in the Telegraph about our campaign to get the club to become an accredited Living Wage employer.
Community energy – a new frontier for us?
Our Lead Organiser Jonathan got to visit a wind turbine and hear about some of the work that other organisations are doing to bring renewable energy sources into community ownership. Read his blog to find out more and contact him directly if you’d like to explore ways for our members to take action on this too.
Campaigning for our kids to do sports
Isla Horton's church in the Llandaff Area Deanery got angry when a change to the pricing system at leisure centres in Cardiff threatened her daughter’s opportunities to do the activities she loved. Read her blog about how community organising helped her get around the table to negotiate with decision-makers.
A place to pee in Pontypridd
Read this blog by Rev Peter Lewis of Pontypridd Area Deanery about how he used what he’d learnt on his Citizens’ 6-day training to organise a campaign to improve public toilet provision in his area.
Community sponsorship progress
Welcome groups set up by some of our Cymru Wales members have recently welcomed their first Syrian refugee families via community sponsorship in Aberystwyth and in Havefordwest. Read Jeff’s blog about the Croeso Hwlffordd group’s experiences, and read Siôn’s blog on his group’s journey to becoming a community sponsor.
Update from Citizens UK’s Council
Citizens UK’s Council deals with political and campaign issues at a national level. One of our Citizens Cymru Wales representatives, Alan Twelvetrees from Swansea, reports on recent developments at the Council – and why this affects all of us.
Read Alan’s blog for an insight on what the Council have been working on recently, particularly their “National Vision for the Future” working groups tasked with developing national campaigns that reflect the priority issues around which all of our Chapters have been organising on the ground.
We have free Community Organising Taster Training coming up in Cardiff (10:00-16:30 on Saturday 14th July) and in Pontypridd (13:00-18:00 on Wednesday 17th October). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book your place.
Thanks for all you do,
Dave Horton and Rev Carole Challis
Co-Chairs of Citizens Cymru Wales