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Citizens UK proposes creation of National Welcome and Resettlement Board

Alongside other charities and voluntary groups across the United Kingdom Citizens UK has been completely inundated with offers of assistance from the general public since the latest phase of the Syrian refugee crisis broke last week.

The generosity and desire to contribute has been overwhelming. We have had thousands of offers of spare rooms, hundreds of landlords sign up to make their properties available, surges in donations, and 620 local campaigns to build #RefugeesWelcome groups to engage councils and landlords, and to welcome those resettled, have been supported by over 90,000 people.

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Motion to welcome, support and accommodate our fair share of refugees both locally and nationally

This Council notes that:

Conflicts in the Middle East have created the largest refugee crisis in generations.

Thousands of people have died while seeking sanctuary from the violence this year alone trying to cross the Mediterranean sea; many of them were children.

The United Kingdom has played a leading role as one of the world’s top international donors, supporting refugees in Syria and the surrounding area.

The UN estimates there are over 320,000 people though who live in urgent need of resettlement. Survivors of torture or sexual violence, the very elderly or disabled, there are people who cannot survive in UN refugee camps near in countries surrounding Syria.

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Resettlement Campaign: Local Organising Guide

The death of Alan Kurdi brought home the reality of the humanitarian crisis on our doorstep, the largest refugee crisis in generations with 12 million people in Syria in need of urgent help, and four 4 million having fled the country.

The UK government has been a global leader in providing funding to support people on the ground in neighbouring countries, but the UN estimate 420,000 of the most vulnerable people need to be resettled to safer environments. To date we’ve taken less than 5,000, compared to 35,000 pledged by Germany, 10,000 by Canada and 9,000 by Norway.

This guide outlines simple steps to move from anger and sadness to action, how we can make a practical difference.

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Help find 5,000 homes for Syrian refugees

Citizens UK has today launched its 'Home for Resettled Refugees Register' - and we need your support to sign up 5,000 landlords who would be willing to rent their property to resettled Syrian refugees.

We have been working on this campaign for a year, but this week we have reached a tipping point, and the Prime Minister is considering an increase in the number of Syrian refugees resettled by the UK.

Quite simply, the more properties pledged on our Register, the more local councils will sign up to participate in the Syrian resettlement programme, the higher the number of Syrians the UK government will consider resettling.

Citizens UK is calling on the government to commit to resettle 10,000 refugees a year for the next two years.

Help us hit that target by adding your rental property to the 'Homes for Resettled Refugees Register'.   

If you don't have any property spare, organise local letting agents and landlords to assist.


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Redbridge Citizens: ‘Recognised as the Champions of Living Wage and CLTs at Fairness Commission’


No meaningful change comes without hard work and perseverance. But careful, consistent community organising builds the power we need for social justice. After 18 months of meetings, strategising, actions and negotiations, Redbridge Citizens’ agenda of the Living Wage and Affordable Housing was well recognised at the Redbridge Fairness Commission on 18 August 2015.

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Fans lead calls for Aston Villa to pay the Living Wage


This article by Aston Villa fan Dave Partridge appears in the August 2015 edition of Heroes & Villains fanzine. Fans of the club are central to a new effort to persuade Aston Villa FC to become an accredited Living Wage Employer this season, and will carry out their first public action at the club’s first home game.

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Retail Giants Join the Council in Backing Croydon Citizens Scheme to Help Young people Find Work


This article first appeared in the Croydon Advertiser

A JOBS brokerage which the council hopes to set up to help young people benefit from regeneration has been backed by Westfield and Hammerson.

The retail giants behind the £1.5 billion redevelopment of The Whitgift Centre have thrown their support behind First Step Croydon, a campaign to ensure young people have access to high-quality work experience and leave education ready for their first job.


Reflections on my first Leeds Citizens action for mental health

Lily Aarons of LJY-Netzer & Leeds University Union blogs on her experience of action with Leeds Citizens to improve mental health in Leeds:

Over 30 people gathered at Moortown Baptist Church yesterday, on the 29th July 2015, for a collective action to improve mental health in Leeds. Our aim was to initiate a relationship Leeds North Clinical Commissioning Group - the body responsible for commissioning mental health services in the city. This was the first action I have attended as a member of Leeds Citizens and I was blown away by how powerful it can be when all different types of people come together for a common cause that they are passionate about. 

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Nottingham Citizens Launches Social Care Listening Campaign


Last night Nottingham Citizens launched their social care listening campaign in Nottingham. There were over 80 enthusiastic members of the public in attendance, who all cared about care, representing 30 different organisations in the community, and working to acknowledge the main problems with social care in Nottingham that they wanted changed.

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Living Wage Whitehall League Table Reveals Poverty Pay Rates


Today we revealed the 2015 Living Wage Whitehall League Table, showing which government departments pay their staff a London Living Wage and which are keeping pay at the statutory minimum wage rate.

HMRC and DEFRA are once again languishing at the bottom of the league table, paying staff £6.50 per hour, whilst other departments such as DECC are accredited Living Wage employers ensuring all their staff, including sub-contracted workers like cleaners and security staff, are paid at a rate that is calculated to ensure they earn enough to live on.

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