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Brighton and Hove Citizens Call for Change

On the evening of the 29th April 2019, three days before the local elections, over two hundred people gathered for an evening of powerful stories, empowered questions, thoughtful responses, but most of all an evening of commitment to change under the banner of Brighton and Hove Citizens. It was the culmination of an initiative started over two years before, led by seven local organisations who recognised the possibility for change when people come together.

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Leader Blog: Living Hours scheme is a lifeline for workers, I know from my own experience

by Gayle Purves, Advisor at Citizens Advice and Leader with Tyne and Wear Citizens

 "A parent turns up to work to find that her employer has cancelled their shift. They’re paid by the hour and that shift was the difference between being able to put food on the table or not. As a result they’re now worse off having paid out of their own pocket for childcare and transport to work. The worker is both financially and mentally strained, filled with anxiety, worrying whether they will be given enough hours to pay the rent this month."

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Reaction: UK's refugee scheme extended!

After a campaign running 12 months and spanning the country Citizens UK leaders are celebrating after hearing that the Government's refugee resettlement scheme is being extended.

Citizens UK leaders pledged to continue welcoming refugees in their communities.

Reverend Cathy Wiles, All Saints West Dulwich, said: “This morning we proudly welcomed Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes to our church to meet with refugee families and local organisations who have helped integrate 27 refugee families to our Borough of Lambeth."

Leaders meet Caroline Nokes at a private visit to a South London Citizens church this morning

 

 

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Citizens leaders publish "Creating a Fair Work Economy" findings

Community leaders from Citizens UK local alliances in Tyne and Wear, London, Nottingham and Milton Keynes have published a report following a listening campaign that saw them have one-to-one conversations and hold workshops with over 700 workers affected by low pay, insecure hours and in-work poverty.

The listening campaign served two purposes: to identify both the hardships faced, but also the solutions needed to break people out of the in-work poverty trap.

Read the full report here.

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London Citizens schools publish investigation into the hostile environment's impact on pupils and urge change

Leaders from London Citizens member schools reveal the impact of the UK government's 'hostile environment' policy on the emotional and academic wellbeing of pupils growing up in the UK without British citizenship, following an extensive listening campaign and research exercise across eight primary and secondary schools, as well as sixth form colleges in the capital. 

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Are refugees still welcome? A blog from Hani

My name is Hani and I'm from Syria. My family and I arrived in Devon in 2017 after escaping the war in our home country and living in a limbo and hardship in Jordan for several years.

We've grasped this second chance at life with joy. Since arriving here, I've found a job as a gardener and my wife has given birth to our third child

 

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Radical housing pledges announced at Waltham Forest Citizens 2019 Assembly

  • Waltham Forest Council more than doubles their commitment to build social rent homes: from 1200 in 2018 by 2022, to 2800 in 2019by 2022
  • Cllr Miller, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and High Streets, agrees to work with Waltham Forest Citizens to find first 2 sites for permanently affordable Community Land Trust sites in the Borough in the next year.

  • School and College pupils take centre stage in drama to highlight the impact of youth violence on their friends and peers.

 

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Media coverage of Founding Assembly

BBC Points West covered the Founding Assembly: https://youtu.be/xiFgmBuLFoI

As did BBC Radio Somerset, Somerset County Gazette and The Wells Journal!

And here's a write-up from The Diocese of Bath and Wells, one of our founding members:

https://www.bathandwells.org.uk/2019/03/citizens-somerset-launched-after-four-years-of-hard-work/

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‘High energy and a new way of working to win change’

By Revd Dr Susan Durber

Minister, Taunton United Reformed Church; and Moderator of Faith and Order Commission, WCC

I am used to going to meetings of a few people, often in large rooms, and feeling that the energy has to come from me. So being part of the Citizens Founding Assembly was a real contrast! The room was packed and the energy level was high. After years (honestly, years..) of building up to this moment I was aware of how tired I was, but the meeting was stirring and energising.

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Citizens Somerset Founding Assembly

By John Haines, Taunton Deane and South Sedgemoor Methodist Circuit

 

280 people turned out on a late winter midweek evening to come to the Founding Assembly for Citizens Somerset, the latest Chapter to be established under the umbrella of Citizens UK.  Hosted by Richard Huish College in Taunton they were engaging in this latest venture of community organising, demonstrating that people are genuinely interested in active expressions of local democracy, whatever the frustrations with national politics at this time.

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