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Leeds

Leeds Citizens is an alliance of faith, education and community organisations, working together for the common good of Leeds. We exist to build the power of ordinary people, so they can take action for social justice, win change and build relationships across diverse communities. We use Community Organising to help people of all ages run exciting campaigns that get decision makers to listen and act on the issue that matter to them.

Since our launch in 2015, we have run listening campaigns to identify the major challenges faced by people in Leeds and equipped hundreds of ordinary people with the skills to take positive social action. Bringing together people from a variety of ages, faiths and backgrounds we have had several campaign successes, including:

  • Pay rises for the lowest paid staff at Leeds City Council and other employers
  • Developing culturally sensitive dementia services for BME elderly people
  • Reduced bus fares for 16-18 year olds
  • New mental health liaison practitioners in GP surgeries
  • Over half a million pounds of housing estate repairs and improved rubbish collections
  • Local road safety improvements

If you have a passion for social justice and are keen to work alongside other communities, please get in touch to find out how your community can join Leeds Citizens. You can also sign up for regular updates from this chapter here.

News

Leeds Citizens take centre stage to strike deals with decision makers

Hundreds of Leeds residents met at the famous City Varieties Music Hall and won commitments from local decision makers on mental health, low pay and youth opportunities.

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Leeds Citizens launch new cycle of action

Leeds Citizens Delegates Assembly

On Tuesday 28th February, Leeds Citizens held a Delegates Assembly at Oxford Place Centre to launch a new phase of action to tackle some of the city's big injustices. Over 75 people turned out from a range of faith, education and community organisations to share to stories from listening campaigns and commit to action on Mental Health, Living Wage and Opportunities for Young People.

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Leeds Churches Back Living Wage Campaign

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On Tuesday 1st November, Leeds Church Institute hosted a Living Wage celebration lunch and conversation.

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Leeds Celebrates Living Wage Week With New Accreditation

Living Wage announcement

Credit: Yorkshire Post Newspapers

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Mental Health Blog: Julie's Story

Leeds Citizens is campaigning local NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups to work with us to improve primary care mental health services, so everyone has access to a ‘navigator’ – a locally-based mental health professional linked to their GP.

In the latest in our series of stories from Leeds Citizens members, Julie shares her experiences of mental health crisis and care at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield.

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Mental Health Blog: Martin's Story

Leeds Citizens is campaigning local NHS trusts and Clinical Commissioning Groups to work with us to improve primary care mental health services, so everyone has access to a ‘navigator’ – a locally-based mental health professional linked to their GP.

In the first in our series of stories from Leeds Citizens members about their experiences with mental health services, Adrian Strain of Newman Parish, speaks about his son Martin.

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Leeds Citizens Call for Living Wage

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Leeds Citizens held several actions during Living Wage Week to celebrate the achievements of Living Wage Employers and encourage others to pay the voluntary rate. Events included:

- Actions at 2 Lidl stores on Sunday 1st November, congratulating the store for its October pay rise and encouraging them to become accredited as Living Wage Employers.

- The Living Wage rate announcement was made on Monday 2nd Nov in Leeds City Centre, featuring helium balloons and leaders delivering letters to local law firms. 

- Wednesday 4th November saw the Living Wage Action team agree to focus their campaign on Leeds City Centre Employers, and seek a relationship with the new Leeds Business Improvement District (BID).

- A Living Wage Tea Celebration was held on Thursday 5th November, hosted by 2 employers with beautiful Living Wage cakes, filming of a video from another Living Wage employer and lots of tea. 

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Reflections on my first Leeds Citizens action for mental health

Lily Aarons of LJY-Netzer & Leeds University Union blogs on her experience of action with Leeds Citizens to improve mental health in Leeds:

Over 30 people gathered at Moortown Baptist Church yesterday, on the 29th July 2015, for a collective action to improve mental health in Leeds. Our aim was to initiate a relationship Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group - the body responsible for commissioning mental health services in the city. This was the first action I have attended as a member of Leeds Citizens and I was blown away by how powerful it can be when all different types of people come together for a common cause that they are passionate about. 

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Leeds Citizens Founding Assembly & Iftar

On Tuesday 7th July, over 650 people from faith, education and civil society organisations in Leeds launched a new people's alliance. The Founding Assembly of Leeds Citizens, a branch of national Community Organising charity Citizens UK, took place at Elland Road Stadium.

 

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Leeds Citizens Holds First Delegates Assembly

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150 people from across Leeds civil society came together on Wednesday 11th February to announce the first organisations to join Leeds Citizens and launch our first Social Justice Agenda.

During a powerful Roll Call, 21 organisations announced their commitment to work together for the common good and confirmed payment of membership dues. We thank those organisations for their courage and leadership, and hope their actions will inspire many more in the coming months.

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