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How this new Citizens alliance wants to bring power to the people of Preston

Posted on - 8th July, 2019 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Politics, Preston News
A presentation during the Preston Citizens event Pic: Citizens UK
A presentation during the Preston Citizens event Pic: Citizens UK

A new Citizens alliance is planning to use community organising to make Preston a better place to work, live and study.

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Preston Citizens is set to become the latest chapter in a national network of Citizens UK local alliances that work for social justice and the common good.

Andrew R. Pratt, the Bishop of Blackburn’s Interfaith Advisor, is behind the new alliance.

He said: “Over the past two years, people from a range of organisations have been meeting to consider the opportunities to build a Citizens alliance here in Preston.

“That alliance would learn from the approach of Community Organising practised by Citizens UK and build an alliance of civil society organisations – working together for social justice and the common good in Preston.

“In late June we met with 60 people from 30 different organisations and people from across Preston to learn about Community Organising and how it can help us to make Preston a better place to live, work and study.

“We introduced the plans for Preston Citizens’ growth and development over the coming years, and had a great response from organisations and people that wanted to take it further.

“We start training on Saturday 21 September and hope to recruit a community organiser by that date.”

Read more: New Hall Lane disorder sees police patrols stepped up

Each chapter of Citizens UK is a dues-paying member institution representing faith institutions, universities, colleges, schools, trade unions and community groups.

A statement on the Citizens UK website says: “People who feel powerless, isolated or exploited must organise and take power to change the world for the better.

“Community Organising is about returning power to people. It prioritises personal relationships, membership of institutions rooted within the community and a pragmatic approach to influencing people who hold power in government, business or public life.

“Citizens UK works with a diverse group of leaders from these institutions; schools, universities, hospitals, mosques, churches, synagogues, charities and other community groups. We teach them a method of community organising so they can take power and achieve change on the issues that matter to them.”

What do you think of the plans for Preston Citizens? Let us know in the comments below.

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