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Paying our employees before their sweat dries

Blog by Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

As the weather gets colder, food banks around the country will get busier as the winter bites. They are essential not only to those without a job, but also to people on low incomes struggling to make ends meet.

Dozens of mosques across the UK are also home to food banks. Alongside other faith communities who run similar services, they see first-hand the effect of increasing levels of poverty on the poorest in society. Many are driven to run such services because they are inspired by sayings of Prophet Muhammad such as “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbour to his side goes hungry.”

Read further to learn about how the Muslim Council of Britain are championing the real Living Wage as a solution to in-work poverty.

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School pupils celebrate parents securing real Living Wage

Children from Newham Citizens member school, St Antony's RC Primary, have celebrated the fact that several of their parents are now getting a fair day's pay for a fair day's work by performing a song to the mayor of London at a Living Wage Week launch.

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Urgent: 3 weeks to get voters registered

Blog by Nouf Abdulqadar, Waltham Forest Citizens

With just 5 weeks until the General Election, around 9 million people are still missing from the electoral roll – that's a shocking one in five UK voters. [1]

I'm a 19 year old Muslim woman and this election will be my first. As a member of TELCO (East London) Citizens, our alliance will engage local parliamentary candidates on the issues affecting our communities - like knife crime and the housing crisis.

But, let's face it... politicians are more likely to act on our priorities if they know that their constituents will head to the polls in high numbers.

If we want our democracy to work as it should, it's crucial that we get as many people as possible onto the electoral roll. And we only have 3 weeks to make it happen! [2]

Members of Tyne and Wear Citizens encourage people in their networks to register to vote.

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National award for Merton Citizens for achievements with local communities

Merton Citizens and South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust have been shortlisted for a national award for their work with the community.

Merton Citizens is a finalist in the Guardian Public Sector Awards 2019 Public Health and Wellbeing category after working closely with the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and the citizens of Merton to raise awareness of mental health and improve access to support for mental health conditions.

Merton Citizens spoke with and listened to 11,000 members of its local communities which had identified mental health as its top priority.

The alliance of community organisations, part of community organising charity Citizens UK worked with South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust and its health and care partners Merton Council and NHS Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to identify concerns and connect people together in developing sustainable solutions.

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Faith and Charity Leaders call for action on hate crime

PRESS RELEASE: Faith leaders and charity CEOs call for urgent action on hate crime and a plan to reverse fear, division and lack of trust in public institutions

  • One of the largest academic studies into hate crime, commissioned by charity Citizens UK, has found that levels of hate crime across the UK are far higher than official figures suggest. The study links widespread under reporting by victims to an erosion in trust in political, media and other public institutions.
  • As the Government reports on national hate crime statistics 18 senior Rabbis, Bishops, Imams and charity CEOs from Citizens UK, Fawcett, Stonewall and the Muslim Council of Britain share “deep concern at the rising tide of fear and division in society and the erosion of trust in public institutions” and call for action [1]
  • Citizens UK, an alliance of 400+ civil society organisations is also calling for inclusion of misogyny as a hate crime nationally – to tackle widespread harassment and violence against women and girls.
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Brighton and Hove Citizens Win Reinstatement of Accessible Toilets in Hove Cemetery

On Tuesday 8th October our Alliance achieved a major campaign win as Brighton and Hove City Council unanimously voted to reinstate an accessible toilet in Hove Cemetery North. These toilets were closed down in 2012 due to cuts and vandalism. The lack of facilities in the cemetery have affected many residents in our city, in particular the elderly and disabled.

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Community groups and individuals settling refugees honoured in national awards ceremony

9 award winners have been recognised by senior figures including Canada’s Deputy Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Catrina Tapley, UN High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) representative in London, Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor and Rt Revd Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham. 

The Community Sponsorship Awards were organised by the Foundation set up and supported by Citizens UK and was co-presented by Hani, one of the first Syrian Refugees to be settled by the scheme in the UK. They marked a special moment to reflect and celebrate some of the work done since the Refugee Welcome movement first shone a light on the refugee crisis. Since that time a groundswell of support helped bring thousands of people to safety.

(c) Ian Brodie / Sponsor Refugees

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Building better hate crime protections: Birmingham's response

Citizens UK, Birmingham ran an event that was both impressive and intimate, with 37 leaders in attendance. Testimony was shared in four themed breakout groups of around ten people, with a chair, timer and note taker each, and with leaders clearly briefed on their themes beforehand. Group themes, such as diaspora, communities, and young people allowed each table to explore experiences of hate and policy solutions

Law Commission evidence hearing


A few leaders were invited to share longer accounts to the room as a whole. There was an horrifying account of the normalised, everyday schoolyard antisemitism faced by a young leader, with jokes about gas chambers often being a daily occurrence, and there was the story of a hijabi Muslim leader being abused in public by an attacker explicitly quoting our Prime Minister’s letterbox comment.

 

 

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How local campaigns reweave bonds of trust between communities

TELCO Co-Chair Fr Angus Ritchie of St George in the East and the Centre for Theology and Community has written for the Guardian about his experiences organising in Tower Hamlets to secure safe, affordable homes for local residents of all backgrounds - and how the tools and principles of Community Organising can offer a powerful antidote to the politics of division which pit us against one another. 

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