Emmanuel Gotora is the Lead Organiser of The East London Communities Organisation (TELCO), the founding Chapter of Citizens UK. Emmanuel holds a Bachelors degrees in Aerospace Systems Engineering and Theology and a Masters degree in Community Organising.
Prior to joining the staff team at Citizens UK in 2008, Emmanuel was a TELCO leader on the Living Wage campaign through the Wood Green New Testament Church of God where he served as a Team Administrator and Youth Pastor. Emmanuel worked with cleaners, staff and students at the University of London to win the Living Wage for over 150 cleaning staff in 2010. In the lead up to the 2010 General Elections, Emmanuel worked with 10 Pentecostal churches across London Citizens to form the Black Clergy Caucus, initiating the Nehemiah 5 Challenge in the early stages of the Just Money campaign.
Emmanuel has led on the City-Safe campaign across London Citizens, and played a key role in TELCO’s Olympic jobs campaign, placing 1,500 people into Living Wage jobs during London 2012, adding £1.5m to the local economy.
As TELCO celebrates 20 years, Emmanuel is leading on the challenge set by TELCO leaders to grow to 100 members and expand into Barking and Dagenham.
Emmanuel and his family worship at Emmanuel Community Church in Walthamstow. He is on the Management Committee of Money A and E, a social enterprise offering money advice to local people in Lambeth and Newham, and the African Caribbean Day Nursery in Haringey.
Daniel Mackintosh joined Citizens UK in September 2013 and is a Senior Community Organiser for Waltham Forest and is supporting the creation of a new Citizens alliance in Leicester. He was previously the Organiser for Redbridge and Refugees Welcome, where he supported 92 Refugee Welcome teams from across the UK. Daniel began organising in South Africa, where he was born, volunteering in the AIDS struggle through the Treatment Action Campaign, and then working for Equal Education, the mass movement tackling inequality in the South African education system.
Daniel studied law at the University of Cape Town, and previously served as a Research Clerk for Justice Khampepe at the Constitutional Court of South Africa in 2012. He is supporting the creation of a new synagogue in Willesden Green, enjoys reading, running and is building a yoga practice. Twitter - @mckdnl
Lydia is the Senior Organiser for West London Citizens working to build new alliances and campaigns across 5 London Boroughs and supporting the wider Citizens UK growth and development strategy. She has been organising for 5 years and sees this as a way of building power with people directly affected by issues who would normally be shut out of the conversation. She is proudest of the work done by Nottingham Citizens to guarantee homeless 16 & 17yr olds accommodation, secure long term funding for domestic violence provision and to make misogyny a hate crime across Nottinghamshire - the first place in the world to do so.
In her spare time she is an active member of The Dinner Party who build community for people in their 20s and 30s who've experienced life changing bereavement by sharing dinners and a good glass of wine. She is also a keen reader, cook and unashamed lover of really bad TV.
North London Citizens
Carina is a Senior Organiser with Citizens UK and lead organiser for North London, having joined in 2009. She leads our work with the NHS and Public Health having previously organised with the New Citizens Organising Team, working with leaders to change law to prevent children and their families being detained in immigration detention centres. Carina re-built Greenwich Citizens from 4 to 11 diverse member organisations including Ravensbourne University, Corelli College and Metro LGBT Charity. Together with the Council, The Royal Borough now offers businesses a reduced business rate if they pay the Living Wage.
Pioneering our work in health, Carina secured an annual income of £180,000 through health related bodies to develop an effective patient participation practice, developing local leaders to shape health services, ensuring they reflect the local health population. This includes Imperial Health Trust joining as active members of West London Citizens. For the last 18 months, Carina has been building Tyne and Wear Citizens, which on the 8th December 2015, held a Founding Partners Assembly with 130 diverse people raising £66,000 of initial funding for the next 2 years.
Prior to joining Citizens UK, she worked in the refugee sector in London for a number of years and holds a BA ECON in Social Anthropology from The University of Manchester.
Outside of work Carina is on the founding team of Citizen School, a DFE approved all through Free School, due to open in September 2017 in South East London. A keen boxer, she has also been appointed as trustee of Help Orphans Wellbeing - a sports village in rural Gambia, where she will develop boxing training for young people.
Michael joined Citizens UK as a community organiser for the Living Wage and the Borough of Haringey in March 2016. Michael first got involved in community organising during his time at the University of Nottingham where he set up a Living Wage Campaign and worked closely with Nottingham Citizens. Upon graduating with a BA (hons) in Politics, he moved to Australia where he worked in the trade union movement as a seat organiser for Unions NSW whilst working alongside the Sydney Alliance, a fellow IAF 'citizens coalition'.
Alongside his experience of working in Australia and in the living wage movement, Michael has worked as an English teacher in China, been involved with charitable projects in Tanzania and closer to home, volunteered at a homeless shelter in Nottingham. He is committed to developing leaders through participation in public life to achieve social justice in our communities.
Charlotte Fischer is the Senior Community Organiser for women and the Jewish community.
She grew up in south east London and read history and politics at Oxford. Charlotte studied Arabic in Damascus and then worked in political mediation in Geneva before changing track to work in conflict history in Cyprus, Spain, Northern Ireland and South Africa. A dual national, she spent two years in South Africa, co-authoring a book on the history of South African education and as the executive director of the South African Religious Action Centre, where she organised to take on a ban put on Jewish women singing.
In 2014 she won the Annemarie Schimmel Award at the Muslim News Awards for her work with synagogues and the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association after their building was burnt down in an arson attack, and in 2015 she was ranked 28 for the Jewish News '40 Jews under 40'.
Pete is a Lead Organiser with Citizens UK and part of the Growth and Development team. Pete has been working in South London for the last 16 years initially as a community development worker and for the last 7 years as a community organiser with Citizens UK. In this time Pete has set up numerous community projects including a radio station for young people, an FA chartered standard football club for young people in Waterloo. Through his organising he has helped pioneer Lewisham's first community land trust and been the catalyst for Refugee Welcome groups across South London that have persuaded councils to take hundreds of refugees from Syria. Pete was apart of the team that planned and executed the 2015 Mayoral election assembly on the Olympic Park which has 6000 people attend. He has recently grown South London Citizens by building a new alliance in Merton and is working to develop new alliances in Brighton and Southampton too.
Pete has an undergraduate degree in theology and an MA in theology and politics and is chair of trustees for Oasis Community Partnerships. He attends his local Anglican church and can often be seen at a Citizens action with his wife and twin daughters.
James Blatchley-Asfa is a Senior Community Organiser at Citizens UK and is responsible for our work with migrants and refugees. He also works in South London and leads on the Parent Power programme with King's College London. James is a dual British and Iranian national and grew up in Thornton Heath, Croydon.
James has a first class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University as well as an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St Antony's College, Oxford and an MA in Community Organising from QMUL. He previously worked as a Campaigner in Amnesty International's North Africa Team and has worked as a researcher at a number of other charities, organisations, and trusts.
James is a governor of a primary school in Brixton, a keen photographer and mediocre footballer.
Paulina Tamborrel Signoret
Paulina is an associate community organiser working in Greenwich. Growing up in Mexico, Paulina experimented with different ways to seek justice; founding volunteer groups, leading student protests and finally working in development consultancy. After an MDes in Social Innovation Design, Paulina decided to abandon her social enterprise to focus her time in developing grassroots change with Citizens UK. She is particularly keen to work in campaigns and negotiations to do with migrants and gender equality.
Saidul Haque Saeed
Saidul Haque Saeed is a Senior Organiser for Citizens UK in Birmingham, where since 2012 he has established a civil society alliance of 22 member institutions, and has trained over 200 leaders in community organising. The organisation has won access to specialist mental health treatment for 16 and 17 year olds, launched City Safe Havens near Schools in 6 neighbourhoods, increased the number of employers paying the Living Wage and recently resettled 50 Syrian refugees to the city from UN Camps.
Before joining Citizens UK, Saidul spent 6 years as a Manager in NHS Primary Care where he was accredited for the quality of public engagement the Trust enjoyed with its local communities. As a local resident with others he lead his community’s response to the Lozells riots of 2005 resulting in no incidents in the area during the Tottenham copycat riots of 2011 in the city. He consequently co-founded an award winning social enterprise still winning change for residents in the area today.
Saidul is a governor in 2 primary schools, an alumnus from the College of Social Science at the University of Birmingham and as the son of a retired city Imam has a special interest in the growth of Muslims in public life.
Tom is a Senior Organiser for Citizens UK working in Leeds and West Yorkshire. Over the last 7 years Tom has equipped hundreds of people of a variety of ages, faiths and backgrounds with the skills to take positive social action.
Tom began his career at Citizens UK with Money Mentors, an innovative community financial literacy campaign in response to the UK recession. He then spent 3 years as a Community Organiser in the London Borough of Lambeth, where he worked with the local council to achieve Living Wage accreditation in 2012. He later directed CitySafe, an initiative that rebuilt relationships between young people, small businesses and the Metropolitan Police and opened over 600 safe havens across the capital. In 2015, he launched Leeds Citizens, an alliance of 30 faith, education and community groups campaigning to address issues of low pay, mental health and youth opportunities around the city.
Tom holds a BA in Geography from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Community Organising from Queen Mary, University of London. He is a loyal member of the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust, volunteers at his local Catholic church and serves on the Board of Directors for Amnesty International UK.
Bradley is the Organiser for Maun Valley Citizens, which he joined in September 2017. Whilst at university, he was a leader on a project which built the aspirations of young people at two deprived North-East schools by encouraging them to pursue higher education. Bradley was also part of a scheme supporting isolated older people to build confidence. What drove him to these roles was the same thing that drives him now: a real passion for helping people to see and realise the potential they have in themselves.
Pete is a community organiser for Nottingham Citizens, with oversight for Maun Valley Citizens, our sister chapter in the north of the county. Pete came to Nottingham in 2005 and fell in love with the city; the culture, the people, the diversity. Pete is passionate about tackling systemic injustice and equipping people to find purpose by playing an active role in bringing about change for themselves and their communities.
Outside of his organising work, Pete loves spending time with his wife and two young sons, listening to metal music and agonising over the fortunes of his beloved Liverpool FC.
Tom lives with his family in Milton Keynes and follows MK Dons. He loves community organising because of the power it unleashes on local communities. Tom enjoys cycling, football and bashing at piano and sax. Tom is the lead organiser for Citizens MK, organising communities in Milton Keynes. He is a part-time CO who also works for Worktree and School for Social Entrepreneurs. He was formerly a travel writer before studying politics at LSE and working as an English teacher.
Richard joined Citizens UK in July 2015 as a Community Organiser for Citizens Cymru Wales, having previously been part of the leadership team of this chapter ahead of its founding in 2014. Notable organising highlights so far include: supporting groups to welcome Syrian refugee families across Wales, organising ahead of the Welsh Assembly elections in May 2016 and local elections in May 2017, and organising with students and staff in schools and colleges and other organisations in Cardiff and the Valleys to develop leaders and win change on issues affecting their communities.
Richard holds a BSc in Cell Biology from the University of Manchester, a Masters in International Development from the University of Bath and a Postgraduate certificate in community organising from Queen Mary’s, University of London. Before joining Citizens UK, Richard worked with the international development charity Tearfund where as a senior advocacy advisor he lead the advocacy campaigning around environment and disasters with a focus on global climate change.
Richard is a trustee of Salem Baptist Church in Tonteg (which engages actively as a church in community organising with Citizens Cymru Wales). Richard has a strong commitment to enabling people to connect their faith with doing justice locally, to develop skills and experience as community leaders and to work together with others for the transformation of communities.
Tyne & Wear
Sara is the Community Organiser for the newly formed Tyne & Wear Citizens, joining in October 2016. Before joining Citizens Sara has worked with children, young people and communities to ensure their views and experiences inform policy, practice and research for over 15 years - both regionally and nationally within Sure Start Children’s Centres, Children’s Fund, The Children’s Society and the Office for the Children’s Commissioner for England. As the Policy & Research Manager at the regional children’s charity, Children North East, Sara led on the child poverty programme of work.
As well as working with the teaching union the NASUWT on a national campaign to reduce the rising cost of going to school. Sara managed CAP Community Action on Poverty, community led solutions to poverty at a neighbourhood level; and coordinated Poverty Ends Now (PEN), a youth led initiative to tackle child poverty. Sara was also an active member of the Holiday Hunger task group: raising awareness of lack of support during school holidays when Free School Meals stop, developing guidance and support nationally and delivering provision locally.
Sara was born and raised in the west end of Newcastle and studied at the London School of Economics. She is a school governor at Cruddas Park Early Years Centre and Chillingham Road Primary School in Newcastle. She is a 2016 (North East Specialist) Clore Social Leadership Fellow.