Low paid employees in London need to be paid the Living Wage
West London Citizens is a broad-based alliance of 33 communities from Westminster to Hounslow who work together to achieve a common goal. Their mission is to build the capacity of people who might not otherwise be able to participate in public life, and to help improve their living standards. They work on a range of issues and will be reporting here on their work to win the Living Wage of £8.80 per hour for low paid people in London. More than half a million people in London are paid less than the Living Wage and struggle to make ends meet. As West London Citizens work to increase the number of Living Wage employers in the city, you’ll be hearing about public actions and meetings they organise with the employees, and their approach to initiate change with employers, community leaders, local councillors and Members of Parliament.
Saving young lives by taking medical care to the remote villages, where the need is greatest.
Children suffer and die unnecessarily because they have no access to medical care, denied by the very real problems of lack of transport, infrastructure and poverty. This project uses a robust 4 x 4 vehicle well stocked with medicines, carrying a clinical team - and takes the medical care to the villages. Over 25,000 sick children benefit every year. The Children's Mobile Clinics have operated since 2003 and are the only access children in the remote villages have to quality medical care. The work of our clinical team is supported by a small army of 150 Village Health Volunteers, respected members of the local community whose input and commitment make the project so amazingly cost-effective.
Violence is the third leading cause of death amongst young people in Europe after road traffic accidents and suicide. There have been 152 teenage murders in London alone since 2005, with 7 of these occurring so far in 2013. 28 of the children who died were under 16 years old.
Young people carry knives motivated by fear and a lack of faith in the ability of “natural protectors” like police and parents to keep them safe. They often don’t understand the medical consequences of violent injuries or how easy it is to kill someone. When someone is stabbed, shot or collapses unconscious it is vital they receive treatment quickly. The more blood they lose the lower the chance of survival. People at the scene tend to panic and struggle with basic life-saving tasks.
We run workshops where we teach young people what to do, equipping them with practical skills to save lives when in such a situation: call an ambulance, simple first aid. Teaching is fun, interactive and easy to understand so skills are recalled easily in a crisis. In the workshops we explain the consequences of violent injuries such as colostomy bags or paralysis in order to shift attitudes, increase confidence and reduce the likelihood of continued violence. These consequences are often more of a deterrent to young people than the notion of death because they’ve not previously considered them in detail. We also encourage young people to think of themselves as responsible members of their communities who can make a positive impact. In 3 recorded cases where young people have saved lives using skills learnt in this training, the increase in confidence and self worth is dramatic. It takes £20 to teach one young person.
The Urban Orchard Project transforms unused spaces into productive community orchards, training people in fruit growing skills, creating urban oases and producing delicious fresh fruit for those that need it most. The Urban Orchard Project plants community orchards all over the capital, working with people from all walks of life, with a specific focus on Londoners living in deprived areas identified as "food deserts" - areas with limited access to healthy food.
Make it possible to purchase some trees for an Urban Orchard. When mature, fruit trees produce around 200 pieces of fruit every year enough to feed several families. Each community orchard has 4-5 orchard leaders - community orchard volunteers, looking after it. These are people who learn all about fruit trees and help to enthuse other people in their communities. Every year we plant 12-15 new community orchards across London, see our map at www.thelondonorchardproject.org to find your nearest orchard. Orchards also have huge benefits for wildlife, creating nectar for bees and other insects and transform urban spaces into beautiful community assets.
Help us care for more sick orphaned and injured wild animals this winter
Every year we help hundreds of wild animals who are injured, orphaned or sick get back to the wild. Our dedicated volunteers rescue and rehabilitate native british species such as hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, deer, owls and most bird species. They give their time and expertise for free but medicines, food and equipment all cost money and that's where we need your help. We urgently need medical supplies, basic food and equipment such as heat pads, cages, bedding and water bowls. Please help us to help them this winter
Help prisoners develop vital life skills to help them fit back into society when they are released
There are a myriad of reasons why people commit crimes. Many prisoners have been victims of abuse or trauma themselves and many have experienced multiple disadvantage throughout their lives. Often their crimes have been a reaction to these experiences or a way of coping with them.
We use gamelan, a novel style of communal-music-making as a vehicle to help offenders develop attributes like accountability, communication, concentration, confidence, emotional intelligence, leadership, listening skills, problem-solving, respect and team-working. Developing these attributes supports their rehabilitation - supporting them on their journey to swapping committing crime for leading positive, productive lives.