Latest News From UK Groups
Starting in Oswestry, the local group is finishing the year by concentrating on the issue of young people's mental health and held a local meeting in mid-November with expert speakers. The group is also planning next year's activities whilst finding time to have a festive get-together in December. Further north, the North West group continues to prioritise work around the People's Plan with two meetings held in November with activists from other local democracy groups.
In Scotland, the newly relaunched Edinburgh group co-organised a screening of The Divide documentary with Prof. John Frank from the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research & Policy. The event was at the University of Edinburgh and drew a large audience with Prof. Kate Pickett taking part in a Q&A and a lively debate about the current political situation. Meanwhile, the Glasgow group attended a local fair to promote the case for greater equality armed with Equality Trust leaflets.
Back down south in the capital, My Fair London are focusing on how to increase their influence on the Mayor of London, especially in light of his recent vision statement, and how to build relationships with other campaign groups in London (and beyond) as part of the actions they want to take over the next 12 months.
And finally, a very useful meeting was held between our new Executive Director, Dr. Wanda Wyporska, and representatives of the London, Hampshire and South Wales groups to talk about various issues relating to group work and the work of The Equality Trust. In addition, various groups submitted inspiring quotes about why they do what they do and what they get from doing it. These quotes feature in our new Activist Pack and can be found on our website here.
New Groups: We are currently advising a potential new start up group in Rhyl. If you live in the area and want to get involved, please contact Bill Kerry for further details.
Please note, there will be no local groups bulletin in December. The next one will be the end of January covering December and January.
Starting off in the east, The Cambridge Commons group has launched monthly Saturday morning 'cafe' meetings in the public library: short introductions by experts on specific topics with local relevance, followed by open discussion. The group is also aiming to engage more young people and hear what issues are most important to them. Publicity in schools, colleges, universities and youth centres is planned ahead of a large, public meeting in November.
Moving north, the North West group continues to be active around the proposed People's Plan for Greater Manchester but still found time to support a well-attended screening of The Divide in Cheshire organised by Quakers in Nantwich. Not far away, the Oswestry group continues its varied work addressing inequality and associated downward social discrimination, including ongoing work with Hope Not Hate as well as local disability groups. And much further north, in Glasgow, the local group is planning an event in the new year to raise awareness around inequality and related issues in the run up to local elections later in 2017.
Moving south and west, the South Wales group are planning to run a fringe event at the Welsh Labour spring conference about Brexit in terms of workers' rights and wage inequality and will also look to do this at other party conferences to raise the issue across the political spectrum. Just over the border, the North Somerset group are planning a public meeting in January with various guest speakers to talk about inequality and related issues. And nearby in Bristol, the local group reports three very successful screenings of The Divide during Healthy City Week as well as the plans of new Spirit Level-quoting Mayor, Marvin Rees, to make Bristol more inclusive and fair for all citizens (you can see his lecture here: Mayor's Lecture Oct 2016).
Down in Hampshire, the local group reports a successful conference held on 5th October about the impact of austerity and they are now working on a summary report and possibly a video as follow up actions. Not far away in Swindon, the local group are working with the Bishop of Swindon and other people in the town to produce a series of articles about inequality and related issues under the banner "The Spirit of Swindon". The aim is to generate community discussion and involvement around the issues and to hold a large public meeting in Spring 2017 after a number of articles have been published. Meanwhile, in nearby Reading, the local group is having a Living Wage stall in the town centre on 5th November to raise awareness as part of Living Wage Week. The group hopes local charity Launchpad (recently accredited as a Living Wage employer) will be there as well as local media. There will be information for the local public to take away – and there will be cakes!
And finally, in the capital, My Fair London have been very busy, not least contributing to the London Finance Commission which advises the Mayor. Full details of the group's autumn work can be found here. Our thanks as ever to all the wonderful local groups for their hard work tackling inequality.