Pete is the Lead Organiser for London Citizens 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.
TELCO (The East London Citizens Organisation)
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.
North London Citizens
Carina is a Supervising 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.
South London Citizens
James Blatchley-Asfa has been a community organiser for 8 years. In that time he has worked with leaders to win campaigns on housing estate renovations, refugee resettlement, road crossings, the living wage, social care, affordable housing, and youth opportunities.
James leads a team of 6 organisers in South London Citizens, an alliance of over 100 civic organisations across six boroughs. James has also pioneered a whole-university approach to organising with King’s College London and has co-founded Parent Power and the Citizenship Payment Plan as part of this. James also leads Citizens UK’s Diaspora Organising Team that focuses on developing leaders of migrant descent and campaigning on issues that are important to migrant and refugee communities.
James is a dual British and Iranian national and grew up in Thornton Heath, Croydon. He 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 at a number of other charities, organisations, and trusts.
James is chair of governors at a primary school in Brixton, a keen photographer and mediocre footballer.
Hannah has been an organiser with Citizens UK since 2016. She initially led our organising work with separated refugee families as part of our Safe Passage project, which campaigned for safe and legal routes to sanctuary, before moving to organise our alliances in both Lewisham (the borough she calls home) and Croydon.
Hannah speaks Arabic, has a degree in English Literature and a Masters in Cultural Studies, and has a varied work background, including as a freelance film-maker, an oral history researcher at Cardiff University, and an educator for the Unaccompanied Youth Bridging Program at St Andrew's Refugee Services in Cairo, Egypt.
She is currently supporting campaigns for affordable homes (with the first 11 Lewisham CLT homes going up at Brasted Close imminently), for welcoming and supporting migrants, and for improving the relationship between young people and the police.
Claire has been a Community Organiser in Southwark with Citizens UK since 2017. Before joining Citizens, Claire graduated with a BA Hons in History and Philosophy at Leeds University then spent a year working in a primary school in Croydon. She then moved to Colombia to teach English and run sexual health and relationship workshops with young women. On her return to Southwark, where she grew up, she worked as a project manager at the Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers.
Citizens UK Birmingham
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.
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.
Citizens Wales Cymru
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 Citizens
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.
West London Citizens
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