Seated from left to right: Revd Simon Mason (Tyne & Wear Citizens), Revd Phil Medley (Tyne & Wear Citizens), Neil Duffy (Tyne & Wear Citizens), Sara Bryson (Community Organiser, Tyne & Wear Citizens), Nick Brown MP.
Tyne & Wear Citizens, part of the national community organising charity, Citizens UK, today welcomes Nick Brown, Catherine McKinnell and Chi Onwurah as the constituency MPs for Newcastle East, Newcastle North and Newcastle Central, and looks forward to working with them in the future. We thank them all for meeting with us in the lead up to the General Election. We also welcome Alan Campbell constituency MP for Tynemouth who has agreed to work with us in the future too.
Before the election Tyne & Wear Citizens held a series of roundtable discussions with prospective parliamentary candidates. At these meetings Tyne & Wear Citizens talked about the types of concerns already coming up in their Listening Campaign, which includes mental health provision, in-work poverty and precarious employment, as well as asking the politicians to agree to meet and begin working with them within 100 days should they be elected.
The aim being to build and develop relationships between civil society members and whoever is elected as the local MP.
Front row seated from left to right: Revd Simon Mason (Tyne & Wear Citizens), Faith Goodfellow (Tyne & Wear Citizens), Chi Onwurah MP. Back row standing from left to right: Revd Nicholas Buxton (Tyne & Wear Citizens), Sara Bryson (Community Organiser, Tyne & Wear Citizens).
Tyne & Wear Citizens is a diverse alliance of local institutions including Newcastle University’s Institute for Social Renewal and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle Quakers, Islamic Diversity Centre, PROPS (drug and alcohol support charity), St Cuthbert’s RC Primary School in North Shields, Citizens Advice Newcastle, NE Wellbeing, Consult & Design, St Chads College at Durham University and St Thomas More RC Academy in North Tyneside.
This is a new Citizens UK alliance, which is now working together to identify the issues that affect their members at a neighbourhood level but also at a national level. By joining forces we can have more power and can act together around issues about which we all agree. Tyne & Wear Citizens will be holding a Launch Assembly on 7 November 2017 at the Tyne Theatre and Opera House in Newcastle.
Citizens UK has a proud history of community organising and through this work has developed several high profile, successful national campaigns such as bringing about an end to child detention for immigration purposes; creating the Living Wage Foundation which to date has accredited more than 3,200 employers who all voluntarily pay a wage rate that’s based on the real cost of living; and establishing Safe Passage to ensure safe and legal routes are made available to child refugees and vulnerable adults, reuniting families torn apart by war and conflict.
Alongside these national campaigns, Citizens UK groups have won hundreds of local asks by working together for the common good. In Tyne and Wear we look forward to many successes as we build our alliance and work on actions together.
The Revd Simon Mason, of the Tyne & Wear Citizens Leadership Group said: “As civil society leaders we saw the General Election as a great opportunity to build relationships with those people looking to represent us and our communities. We want to work together with our local politicians to create a more just, inclusive and welcoming country; and that can only happen if we engage with the political process.”