Tonypandy Student voice launches “Brighter Futures” project with Citizen Cymru at a packed Cardiff event.

 On 22cnd October 2014, ten students from Tonypandy Community College attended the founding assembly of the Cardiff and the Vale Citizen Cymru organisation and became the first young people to embark upon the “Brighter Futures” programme.

Cardiff Citizens and Vale of Glamorgan Citizens are the two newest community organising alliances in the growing Citizens UK network, responsible for campaign successes such as the Sanctuary Pledge campaign to end the detention of children for immigration purposes and the Living Wage campaign, accrediting over 900 employers and improving the wages of more than 30,000 workers.  Locally, leaders trained by Citizens have succeeded in persuading Nando’s to create the first chain restaurant where Muslims and non-Muslims can eat together in Cardiff, won more pupil-friendly services from Cardiff Bus, and campaigned for Cardiff University to pay the Living Wage.  More alliances are developing across South Wales under the banner of Citizens.

Dr Eva Elliott, of the Cardiff School of Social Sciences and Canton Uniting Church, said:

“We have launched an ambitious social justice agenda for the next five years.  We agreed to initiate campaigns together to tackle poverty and inequality, ensure a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work through quality Living Wage jobs, make businesses and services more responsive to people’s needs, keep a welcome in our communities by improving relationships with each other and those in need, and to overcome powerlessness by training citizen leaders with the skills they need to achieve change.”

With the 2015 UK General Election & the 2016 Welsh Assembly Election in prospect, Citizens Cymru Wales is encouraging young people (aged 8-30) in schools, colleges, youth groups, faith institutions and universities to participate in the Brighter Futures initiative. Participants will be trained to run a listening campaign to identify the pressing issues facing young people in their community, register young people to vote, agree a Young Citizens’ Agenda for South Wales, and then negotiate with prospective MPs and AMs to make change happen.

Students from Tonypandy “Student Voice” introduced themselves to the 800 strong audience and formally launched “Brighter Futures”, their training will commence next month.