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Why service designers and community organisers need to work together

Blog by Lucy Stewart, Senior Researcher at Snook, a multidisciplinary design studio that creates products, services and tools that help people and governments thrive. In this blog (also available on Medium) she reflects on her training on Community Organising and how service designers and community organisers can work together to craft next era government. 

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Empoderando Padres; a powerful parent group!

Written by Ana Ramirez Mourraille

This winter, I had the good fortune of accompanying a group of Latin American parents living in London for the creation of the Empoderando Padres group.

The project comes from a King’s College London initiative with Citizens UK; it is an active network of mothers and fathers striving for a greater understanding of the English education system, so they can to better support and guide their children in their education.

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Está comprobado que durante la adolescencia, el apoyo de los papás resulta fundamental en reducir el “performance gap” entre los diferentes niños que asisten al colegio. El “performance gap” casi que puede definir cuáles jóvenes pueden acceder a la universidad y cuáles no. 

El proyecto surge como una colaboración entre King’s College London (KCL) y Citizens UK, es una red activa de madres y padres preocupados por entender mejor del sistema educativo inglés para apoyar y guiar mejor a sus hijos en su bachillerato.

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Scale of young people raised in UK held back by high child citizenship fees revealed

A new study by the University of Wolverhampton has estimated that over 215,000 children are growing up in the UK without any formal immigration status, as published in the Guardian today. Some arrived in the UK as children and over half were born in the UK.

Without their papers, children can access basic healthcare and go to school, but once they become adults they won’t be able to work, study or open a bank account, limiting their opportunities to thrive and fully contribute to the UK, their home.

Alongside child law experts including Coram and We Belong, Citizens UK calls for citizenship and immigration policy to integrate these children – as right now, the system to protect these children who are British to all intents and purposes is broken.

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Launch of Equal Power partnership to promote women's participation in public life

We are proud to announce a three year partnership with the Fawcett Society,  Muslim Women's Network, The Parliament Project, Centenary Action Group, and 50:50 Parliament, in order to support women's participation across our membership and in public life, named Equal Power. Funded by Comic Relief, this is a ground breaking campaign to get more women as leaders in public life, both as elected as MPs and local councillors, and as civil society leaders, and to tear down the barriers that stop women voices from being heard at every level of politics including as civil society leaders who will build campaigns to make change. 

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South Bank for South Leeds Launch

Leeds is set to undergo its biggest regeneration in more than a hundred years, as the South Bank of the River Aire is redeveloped. The regeneration will bring 35,000 jobs, over 8,000 homes, a new park, HS2 terminus and much more.

Leeds Citizens has launched a new campaign - South Bank for South Leeds - to ensure this regeneration has a tangible, positive impact across South Leeds communities.

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Highlights Nov-Dec 2019

Over the past few weeks, our members have members gathered at St Ann's Well Academy for our annual delegates assembly and AGM. It was an encouraging and important evening together - community leaders shared details of recent victories and we celebrated people who have developed leadership skills and participated in public life through the past year. At a time of such national uncertainty, when politics and public life seems to divided and uncertain, it was fantastic to acknowledge people who prepared to work with others to make the changes they want for their communities. 

We were particularly encouraged to hear about the joint work of  three of our member organisations - Sycamore Academy, St Ann with Emmanuel Church, and St Ann's Well Academy, and the organising they are doing together in their local neighbourhood - local people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to listen, to research and to act together on shared goals...fantastic!!!



Continue reading for more updates from Nottingham Citizens

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Celebrating Citizens UK's first sports club in membership

Brighton Table Tennis Club (BTTC) are immensely proud to be the first sports club to join Citizens UK's network of Community Organising alliances as a dues-paying member organisation. In turn, here at Citizens UK we are delighted to congratulate them on their award-winning effort, in recognition of their commitment to the wider community in Brighton and Hove. In fact, BTTC run seventy sessions for over 1,500 people a week, including players affected by cancer, refugees, seniors, prisoners, school children, players with additional needs and ping pong enthusiasts.

This week the Club of the Year prize went to BTTC at the Daily Mirror Pride of Sport awards! Watch the video to learn more about the amazing work BTTC do to combine the power of sports with the power of community.

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How civic institutions can be at the forefront of social change

Blog written by The Revd Dr Simon Woodman, Bloomsbury Baptist Church, Westminster Citizens

It was a privilege to host the London Citizens Delegates Assembly at my institution, Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, in November 2019. Over 500 community leaders from civic institutions across the capital gathered to show how our power to bring about change for justice is magnified when we work together. The choice of Bloomsbury for this Assembly was no accident: in addition to being a member institution of West London Citizens, it is a church with a long history of engaging in works of social justice.

Revd Woodman at the London 2020 Delegates Assembly where he delivered this opening speech

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DIALOGUE WINS AS PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATES PLEDGE ACTION

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Organising on Housing in London - the story so far

At London Citizens, together with our 250 member organisations, we want to tackle the capital’s housing crises head-on.

With Trust for London’s support, we are focusing our efforts on four campaigns which we hope will make a huge difference to the future of how Londoners are housed – in affordable, decent homes – whilst ensuring that the capital remains a place for people from all backgrounds.

The four-year initiative which begun in 2017 sought to follow up on pledges made by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in front of 5,000 Londoners gathered in the Olympic Park’s Copper Box arena during the 2016 Mayoral election campaign.

An extraordinary range of commitments and accountability on housing issues are emerging, and we are pleased to be able to reflect on some great successes and some important learning.

At the same time, we’re always looking forward, bringing members into contact with parliamentary candidates around the country for the General Election, and preparing our asks for the next London Mayoral election in 2020, including another large-scale assembly with the candidates in April. We remain whole-heartedly committed to building citizens into leaders, as well as holding decision-makers to account throughout all our work, including this initiative.

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