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TELCO celebrates 20 years of people power in east London and sets ambitious vision for the future

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On Thursday 17th November, 300 organised citizens from Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Redbridge, Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham gathered at the London Muslim Centre for the Delegates Assembly and Annual Meeting, and to celebrate TELCO’s 20th Anniversary.

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250 community leaders from South London Citizens celebrate successes and plan for the future

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250 civic and community leaders from South London Citizens, celebrated campaign progress on affordable housing and Refugees Welcome since the London Mayoral Assembly at William Booth College, Southwark.

The evening began with Clive Adams, Territorial Commander for the Salvation Army, handing over door keys to Cllr. Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council, for homes which will house 4 Syrian refugee families. 

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Greenwich Citizens celebrate London Living Wage

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Greenwich Citizens held a Living Wage tea party hosted by METRO Charity this Friday, following the Sadiq Khan’s announcement of the new London Living Wage rate of £9.75 an hour earlier in the week. The number of Living Wage employers in the borough has risen to around 100, after a Royal Borough of Greenwich scheme last year offering business rate discounts for employers signing up to the London Living Wage.

The London Living Wage is a voluntary level of minimum pay, independently-calculated with the cost of living in the capital. 20 Greenwich charities and social enterprises have accredited as Living Wage employers, including METRO and Mycenae House.

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Brixton primary school stands up for Refugee children

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On Friday 21st October, the entire school of St John’s Angell Town Primary School gathered with Local MP Helen Hayes in Windrush Square, Brixton to mark black history month and show solidarity with child refugees.

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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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New real Living Wage rates announced for London & the UK

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The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan today announced that the new London Living Wage has increased from £9.40 to £9.75 per hour to reflect the higher cost of living facing families in the city – an increase of 3.7 per cent. This year over 300 more London-based employers have signed up to pay their staff the hourly rate required to make ends meet in the capital, bringing the number of London Living Wage employers to nearly 1000.

The UK rate has increased by 2.4% from £8.25 to £8.45. This is 17% higher than the government minimum for over 25s which is £7.20 per hour. And in total nearly 1,000 employers have signed up since Living Wage Week last year bringing the total number of accredited Living Wage organisations to nearly 3000.

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Faith leaders encourage Home Secretary to resume transfers of children from Calais

Nearly 200 faith leaders, as well as Lord Alf Dubs, have today called on Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, to resume transfers of children from the Calais camps to the UK. In an open letter, they highlight the chaotic events in Calais last week, which saw many children unable to register with the authorities, forcing them to sleep rough. In addition, they state that using such methods in order to avoid creating a “pull factor” to Calais (and the UK) is “morally unacceptable”.

The faith leaders, who include seven Bishops, leading Rabbis, and the leader of the Salvation Army in the UK and Ireland, say that refusing to safeguard unaccompanied children is akin to leaving a child in the road to act as a deterrent to other children.

They express concern that transfers of children from Calais to the UK have been halted, and call on Amber Rudd to “restart the rescue immediately”.

A full copy of the letter, a shortened version of which appears in today’s Times, is below.

Dear Sir,
We applaud the Home Secretary for the measures she instituted to transfer children with a legal right to reach their families and the most vulnerable from the camps in Calais to the UK. However, the scenes of the last few days stand in stark contrast to those welcome developments. 
Charities such as Citizens UK, Save the Children and Help Refugees, report that as many as 50 unaccompanied children who had been unable to register their claims with camp authorities in the rush of the demolition, being driven off into the cold night as the “Jungle” burned.

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Citizens UK’s Safe Passage programme celebrates today’s arrival of unaccompanied children from Calais ‘jungle’ camp

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Citizens UK’s Safe Passage programme welcomes the news that 14 unaccompanied children will be reunited with their families in the UK from Calais today by the government, with many more expected to arrive in the coming days ahead of the demolition of the camp. Previously family reunification for unaccompanied children in Calais has fallen to voluntary groups such as Citizens UK, who have reunited 60 children from Calais with family in the UK since March. Whilst welcoming today’s progress, Citizens UK will be working to hold the Government to its commitment to transfer all children eligible for family reunion ahead of demolition, and warns that we must not forget about the many Dubs-eligible children in this process.

Many of the children transferred today and in the coming days will be children supported through the Safe Passage programme, all of whom have family waiting for them in the UK.  Citizens UK will be assisting the government with the transfers and its volunteers from faith groups across the country have been engaged by the Home Office to help with the registration and transition of the children.

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Independent Sanctuary Commission launch postponed

Over the past five months, Nottingham Citizens have been carrying out research into the experience of the refugee community in Nottingham. Over this time, our team of 40 leaders have held public hearings, read through written submissions from expert bodies in the field and surveyed 280 refugee and asylum seekers directly to hear their voices and learn from the tensions they have faced.

This research was to culminate in a report which was due to launch on 18 October setting out recommendations and the ground work for precedent-setting change in the sector. However, due to the sensitivity, complexity and capacity of the issues we have decided to postpone the launch of the until late November.

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