Project Overview

Title

Citizens UK

Grant Amount

£30,000

Award Date

April 2020

Theme

Homelessness, Food Security & Housing, Community Projects


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1 staff member
hired

High-quality modular
homes
30
homeless people trained

Citizens UK, founded in 1996, organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. Their diverse member organisations include schools, churches, mosques, synagogues, parents groups, health practices, charities and trade unions.

Citizens UK help these members to develop leaders, so they can participate in public life and hold politicians and other decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them.

The East London chapter of Citizen’s UK (TELCO) partners a wide range of groups on campaign areas including fair wages, affordable housing, energy poverty, refugee welcome and hate crime.

Isla’s grant enabled TELCO to:

  • Pioneer a homelessness campaign with the aim of ensuring that homeless people became a prominent part of the London Citizens’ plan for the London Mayoral Elections. Eight homeless people are now part of a core team of leaders shaping the policy for homelessness for the London Mayoral Accountability Assembly. 
  • Contribute to staff costs for a part-time organiser. This dedicated staff time enabled them to develop a team of leaders from civil society organisations in Redbridge and a London-wide team as part of the London Mayoral. This pioneering work is very much rooted in East London, capturing interest in the neighbouring boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets and is now growing into a national campaign across the Citizens UK network.  Over 30 homeless people have been trained in the tools and skills of community organising – particularly how to tell their story and part of their leadership developing and recognising their own agency despite the fact that they are homeless.
  • Organise a Homelessness Summit in March 2020. As a result of the success of the Summit, by May, the East London homelessness campaign had grown into a national campaign to suspend ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ (NRPF) for homeless people during the Covid-19 pandemic. TELCO also won commitment from Redbridge Council and Tower Hamlets Council to build more high-quality temporary modular homes as part of a housing first approach.