Citizens UK are an organisation of over 300 institutions nationwide. They build alliances with other institutions including various faith groups, colleges, schools, trade unions and local community organisations. The purpose of Citizens UK is to take action on the nation’s biggest problems such as poverty, work employment, immigration, affordable housing and the living wage. They work as a union and help bring about positive change in the right way holding politicians accountable and pledging to work with them on the various problems at hand.
Over the past two academic years, St Pauls has been in a direct relationship with Citizens UK, during which time the partnership has succeeded in many goals, such as securing a meeting with Councillor John Fahy, the deputy Greenwich Council Leader; while in the meeting we put to Councillor John Fahy, would he help St Pauls and Citizens UK to acquirer future meetings with Councillor John Fahy and Peabody and Crossrail Network.
Following on from that meeting, we also met Boris Johnson the current Mayor of London, in the ArcelorMittal Orbit and in this discussion, Citizens UK examined him on his plans for the local area and what his plans were for future employment creation; he replied with several answers which motivated Citizens UK to continue the campaign.
At the start of the new academic year Citizens UK met with St Pauls to take a trip to the local Sainsbury’s that has just been built. Whilst there we sat down with the deputy store manager. Throughout the meeting St Pauls Students represented Citizens UK and conversed about youth employment skills, and chances of work experience throughout the Sainsbury’s organisation.
Just recently, we met with Peabody and the Geography department of St Paul’s Academy and asked Peabody what their plans were with the local area and the plot of land they own, on Yarnton way, Thamesmead. They are planning to build 1000s of new homes, with 47% of them being affordable housing and social housing.
On the 25th April 2016, Citizens UK and St Pauls students had a meeting with Teresa Pearce, who is the shadow housing minister and MP for the local area, in St Pauls Academy. That meeting which included Mr Winston, the principal of St Pauls academy and students from across the year groups, saw us asking for possible youth employment places and to gain contact with other secondary schools that would be interested in becoming a part of Citizens UK and expanding its widespread unity and diversity. We negotiated and came to an agreement, and Ms Pearce said she would personally do her best to help get in touch with other secondary schools and youth employment companies and institutions.
On the 28th April 2016, Citizens UK organised the Mayoral election campaign at the Copper Box arena at the Royal Olympic Park, in Stratford, East London. The 6000 people strong event put across the questions of the nation to the two leading London mayoral candidates from both parties: from Labour Sadiq Khan and Zac Goldsmith from the Conservative party. Citizens UK put across the three main problems facing the London and country wide, they were: affordable housing, the immigration crisis and the London living wage. Throughout the night those topics were discussed by both mayoral candidates who gave their opinion and outlined their plans on our questions.
St Pauls that night were part of 6000 people which included our Gospel choir and the key spokesperson of St Pauls, Dylan Wiggan. Later that night he gave a powerful testimony on housing in the local area and overwhelmingly moved the crowd to applause.
Well done to all students involved!
Written by Richard Mayne.
#Where's your geographical classroom?