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We can't afford to sit this out

Blog by Taj Khan, Newcastle Central Mosque, Tyne and Wear Citizens

With a new Prime Minister in post and the prorogation of Parliament, another General Election is likely to be on the horizon. A lot is at stake and communities like mine can't afford to sit this out.

However we may each personally feel about the current political situation, we have to take every opportunity we can get to fight for a better, fairer society.

See, for a long time I was angry about injustice and I took part in countless demonstrations but... nothing ever seemed to change and I began losing hope that people like you and me could be heard.

It's not an exaggeration to say that all of this changed when my local mosque in Newcastle joined Citizens UK's alliance in Tyne and Wear. Being trained in community organising meant that I could see a way forward.

Since then, in the space of less than 2 years we've secured real change in Newcastle. We launched a Hate Crime Charter that was adopted by not one, but four, public transport companies that have now, as a result, improved how staff respond to hate crime incidents. 

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Security and control: the need for Living Hours

Blog by Lizzie Flew, Child Poverty Action Group, a member of Hackney Citizens

We know that child poverty in working families is rising even as employment is at a record high. Indeed 70% of children living in poverty are in working families. It’s right to celebrate high levels of employment, but it’s not right if that employment comes with high levels of insecurity and unpredictability – as it often does for those on a low income. Some parents are having to worry about whether they’ll get enough hours next week, or to deal with the fallout when they have juggled their childcare to make it work and then their shift gets cancelled at the last minute. These situations cause financial hardship and unnecessary distress. The Living Hours campaign from the Living Wage Foundation is a vital step forward in tackling this.

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Law Commission visit Newcastle as part of Hate Crime Review

  • Evidence Consultation held in Newcastle this week as part of review into hate crime law.

  • Visit will take place at Newcastle University between 10-2pm and the commissioners will hear from over 40 women who will speak directly to the Commission to feed in their experiences of misogyny, islamophobia and intersectional hate crime.

  • Community organising group - which includes groups from Newcastle Central Mosque, West End Women and Girls and Newcastle University - has been campaigning for stronger Hate Crime laws, successfully bid for the hearing to be held in the North East.

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'Let Justice Spring Up Like a Mighty Water Fountain' - Greenbelt Festival and Citizens UK to launch new water campaign

Back in Victorian Britain, urban areas were devastated by water-borne cholera epidemics that killed thousands of poor city-dwellers.  Ordinary people were at the mercy of the market, which saw water as a source of profit rather than a human right, and a government that said ‘there’s nothing we can do’.

Site of the 1854 Cholera Outbreak in Soho, London


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Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong

In this blog, UNISON North West Organiser Conor McGurran, shares what he is taking away from Citizens UK's national training in community organising and reflects on the areas of common interest between unions and Citizens alliances around which power can be built and change affected.

Conor taking part in a role play during which trainees organise a campaign action to put into practice learning gained so far on how to effectively organise around a common interest and negotiate with power-holders.

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Petition: Premier League must act on Living Wage

Greater Manchester Citizens today launched a Living Wage petition, after Premier League clubs spent hundreds of millions on players but still don't pay a real Living Wage to all staff.

Sign the petition

Working at Arsenal, Newcastle, Manchester United and other Premier League clubs are thousands of cleaners, caterers and stewards, on less than £9 an hour.

Only 4 proud Premier League clubs, Everton, Chelsea, Liverpool and West Ham pay a real Living Wage.

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Brighton and Hove Alliance Update July 2019

Our Alliance has been busy this July, achieving significant wins on our campaigns and making exciting plans for the year ahead. Our highlights are our mental health campaign team's deputation to Brighton and Hove City Council, and the Jews4Loos successful event at Hove Cemetery - opening the North Side toilets for the first time in 7 years!

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A new Prime Minister – and two organising opportunities

By Matthew Bolton, Executive Director, Citizens UK

Yesterday was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s first day – and it turned out to be a significant one for two long standing Citizens UK campaigns, Strangers Into Citizens and the Living Wage campaign.

Back in 2007, we launched the Strangers Into Citizens campaign, calling for the mass regularisation of people without immigration status, who have put down roots in this country over years but are vulnerable to exploitation and hardship.

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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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News: The Olympics housing legacy is at risk say Newham Citizens

Take the housing survey:  it will be presented to the GLA and LLDC 


Newham Citizens have written to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to register their disappointment at the GLA’s approval of the Stratford Waterfront development despite the provision of ‘affordable’ housing on the development being entirely shared ownership homes which are out of the reach of local incomes. On April 30th, members of Newham Citizens, part of TELCO (The East London Citizens Organisation), attended the Planning Committee meeting at the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), to register their objection to 35% of the 600 homes expected to be built as part of the £1bn development. While the scheme gained the approval of the LLDC planning committee, elected local authority representatives from Newham, Hackney and Waltham Forest voted against the scheme because of the lack of genuinely affordable housing.
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