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Community Energy - A New Frontier for Community Organising?

Jonathan Cox
Lead Organiser, Citizens Cymru Wales

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Just before Easter I was invited on a 'Knowledge Exchange' visit to a community-owned renewable energy project on the western end of the Brecon Beacons near Gwaun Cae Gurwen.  The most exciting bit was the chance to see a working wind turbine up close - and to go inside it!  The wind turbine itself was majestic and hypnotic - but the inspiring stories I was told about community ownership of renewable energy sources in Wales made me think if this was something our member organisations in Wales might want to explore. We have shown how we can apply our community organising method to sponsoring refugees - why not to generating renewable energy and tackling fuel poverty? We are gathering some Citizens leaders to have an initial discussion with Community Energy Wales soon, so if you are interested, let me know on jonathan.cox@citizenswales.org.uk.  In the meantime, hope you enjoy the following article.

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Community Sponsors in Aberystwyth Welcome their First Syrian Family

Welcoming a new refugee family through community sponsorship

Siôn Meredith, Aberaid

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Photo - Siôn and members of the team of volunteers at the airport to welcome a family from Syria

Aberaid is a group of concerned people in Aberystwyth who formed in response to the refugee crisis and who came together to sponsor a refugee family to come and live in our community.

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Croeso Hwlffordd Welcome a Syrian Family to Haverfordwest

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Photo - Jeff and members of the team at the airport to welcome a family from Syria

Welcoming a new family through Community Sponsorship

Jeff Britten, Croeso Hwlffordd

Croeso Hwlffordd came about as a result of me meeting people involved in community sponsorship in Narberth and Fishguard. I felt ashamed that there was nothing happening in Haverfordwest, the much bigger county town, and I saw that community sponsorship was a practical way for us to do something to respond to the suffering of people in Syria.

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A Report from our Representative on the Citizens UK Council

Citizens Cymru Wales is a Chapter of Citizens UK.  We are entitled to send up to 8 leaders from Wales to represent us at the Citizens UK Council, which deals with political and campaign issues at UK level.  Alan Twelvetrees from Swansea is a co-opted member of the Citizens Cymru Wales Leadership Team, and one of our representatives on the Citizens UK Council.  Here Alan briefs us on recent developments...

Citizens UK Council Issues

Neil Jameson is stepping down from his role as Executive Director of Citizens UK in August this year. There has been much consultation with council members as to the best process to use to appoint a successor. Those who wanted to have a say have been able to make a contribution. Matthew Bolton, currently one of two Deputy Directors, was recently appointed to be the new Executive Director.

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New campaign launched to extend the Government's refugee resettlement scheme

Citizens UK institutions and leaders, as well as 'refugees welcome' groups across the country, were instrumental in ensuring that in 2015 the Government introduced its Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS) to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees to the UK by 2020. 

The Home Office is currently reviewing the future of refugee resettlement beyond 2020. There is a risk that the Home Office will decide to scale down - or even stop altogether - the resettlement of vulnerable refugees. 

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Leeds Citizens take centre stage to strike deals with decision makers

Hundreds of Leeds residents met at the famous City Varieties Music Hall and won commitments from local decision makers on mental health, low pay and youth opportunities.

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Let's Talk about Apprenticeships

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This month marks the first anniversary of the government's Apprenticeship Levy. Zoe Caccavale, intern at Citizens UK, considers its impact one year on, and questions whether it has improved progression opportunities for disadvantaged young people. 

 

 

 

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Nottingham Citizens Hate crime study reveals surge in verbal and physical harassment

One of the largest studies ever conducted into hate crime has found more than a third of people in Nottingham surveyed have experienced hate crime (35%), an increase of 6% since the last citizen survey ‘No Place for Hate’ in 2013/14, with the majority happening in the city centre and public spaces.

As part of the report for Nottingham Citizens, part of community organising charity Citizens UK, the experiences of over 4,170 people in the city were collected, including frequency, causes and locations of hate crimes, building on five years of work to tackle hate crime in the city. The first part of the survey, published today, represents the experiences of 1202 people responding to a city survey. A second report on the experiences of 2968 school and college children is due to be published over the summer.

Most respondents in the city survey had not reported the crime to the police (79%). Of those who did, 58% were satisfied with the police response and 42% dissatisfied.

Read the report.

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Sponsor Refugees launch 2018 Community Sponsorship Awards

Citizens UK's foundation for the sponsorship of refugees, Sponsor Refugees, has launched the nomination period for the first ever Community Sponsorship Awards in the UK. The launch was announced on Monday 7 May at the annual Migrants' Mass at St George's Cathedral in Southwark, London. 

 

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Citizens Cymru Wales hold Living Wage protest at Cardiff Airport

Supporters of a campaign initiated by security workers at Cardiff Airport held a protest today calling for the airport to become an accredited Living Wage employer - and ensure that all airport workers are lifted out of poverty pay. 

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