Diocese of

Hexham and Newcastle

Bishop Séamus Cunningham

Justice and Peace


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Justice and PeaceDepartment for Justice and Peace

Tyne and Wear Citizens:

Diocese has become a Strategic Partner of Tyne and Wear Citizens.

At a recent meeting of the Diocesan Directors, it was agreed that the Diocese would become a Stategic Partner to Tyne and Wear Citizens for the next three years, giving £10k a year to contribute to the costs of employing a community organiser. Tyne and Wear Citizens is a broad based community organising organisation, which seeks to develop civic society and bring about social change.

At the moment there are three campaigns:

  • Improving provision for Mental Health Services.

  • Addressing poverty with a particular focus of promoting the Living Wage and reforming the Free School Meal system.

  • Making communities safer and combating hate-crime.

Members of catholic parishes and schools are involved in all three campaigns.

Bishop Séamus is very supportive of Diocesan involvement in Tyne and Wear Citizens and of the aims of all three campaigns.

If you would like more information about the work of Tyne and Wear Citizens please contact the Head of the Department for Justice and Peace, Fr. Chris Hughes at: or Tyne and Wear Citizen's Community Organiser, Sara Bryson at

Latest news

Download the September newsletter from Tyne & Wear Citizens.

Welcome Sunderland Organiser – Claire Rodgerson

We are delighted that Claire Rodgerson has started with us this week as Associate Community Organiser in Sunderland. Claire brings with her a wealth of experience having previously worked with women affected by sexual violence and joins us from Show Racism the Red Card. Her knowledge, experience and contacts will support enormously the changes we are seeking in the region. Please give Claire a warm Tyne & Wear Citizens welcome and get booking in a 121 with her as soon as you can! You can reach Claire at


Learning the craft of organising is essential if we are to win. It equips us with strategies needed to think through how we will achieve the changes we seek.

All members are entitled to send as many people as they like onto our 2 day training. Ideally each organisation should have a small team who are trained and understand the craft.

2 Day Training – 28 & 29 September 2018

The next round of 2 Day training will take place on the 28 & 29 September at Cedarwood Centre (near Meadowell metro station). Please circulate and confirm names and numbers with Sara Bryson ASAP.

6 Day Training

Membership of the alliance also enables you to take up a place on our accredited six day residential training programme. This is amazing training and is accredited as a postgraduate certificate in Community Leadership. Next round takes place October 7 - 12 in Leeds. Registration deadline has now passed, but if you would like to book up for next year the dates for 2019 are:

March 10 - 15 2019
June 30 - July 5 2019

Let Sara know if you want to book onto either of those.

Accreditation Day

For those of you who have already been on six day training we will be completing the accreditation process with a short 10 minute presentation on how you have put your training into action.

This will take place in Newcastle on Wednesday 14 November 3.30 - 8.30pm. You can book a slot during this time. If you haven’t already done so, please confirm with Sara if you are attending and you’re preferred time.


Living Wage

The Living Wage Action Team have had several negotiating meetings with local authorities and universities, with real progress being made. Watch this space!

They are also targeting St. James’ Park, calling on them to follow the example of other Premier League Clubs such as West Ham, Chelsea and Everton and pay a Real Living Wage.

They are carrying out a public action on Saturday 15 September at St. James’ Park and invite you to join them.

See below a note from Neil Duffy, Newcastle Citizens Advice. Please let Neil know if you can attend the action.

We plan to meet in the City Library (33 New Bridge Street, Newcastle, NE1 8AX) at 12:30 in Bewick Room 1 (Second Floor) on the 15 September – the aim of this will be to provide a briefing for the action and to have a training workshop provided by the members of Citizens UK who have successfully undertaken Living Wage actions before heading to the ground.

The aim of the action is to do two things:

1. Research the pay and conditions of the staff working on match days.
For example: stories, pay, who they work for (agency or not?), make-up of the workers etc.

2. Involve the fans in the action, we have ordered materials for this which will be explained on the day. We want to gather opinion from the fans and involve them in research so that we can show paying the Living Wage is an issue the fans care about.

Living Wage Week is 5 - 9 November

We will be hosting an event in Newcastle on the evening of Monday 5 November, please hold this in your diary! Further details to follow soon…

If you needed any evidence about how important the Living Wage action is, then see this report in the Chronicle. Smith Institute research shows that a Living Wage in the North East could boost the local economy by £29 million.


Hate Crime

Reclaim The Metro – Saturday 13 October 12.00pm, Monument

Safer Cities Action Team are continuing to work with transport providers on developing hate crime policy, training for drivers and building relationships with the police.

The next step in their campaign is the Reclaim The Metro Action! They are building on the success of the Reclaim the Night movement. We are inviting members to join in on Saturday 13 October. We meet at the monument at 12.00 and will be hearing first hand from women experiencing Islamophobia on public transport. We will then travel from the Monument to Whitley Bay, stopping at the coast for fish and chips.

Do join us, numbers are really important. Please sign up and register via Eventbrite so that we can monitor number.

Please also let Taj or Mariam know how many people will be coming from your organisation.

Stand Up to Racism, Sunderland 15 September 1.15pm

Tyne & Wear Citizens are supporting Stand Up to Racism North East, who are uniting organisations across the region to oppose a demonstration in Sunderland organised by the Democratic Football Lads Association (DFLA).

They are inviting people to call for justice for survivors of sexual violence in Sunderland, whilst also rejecting the far right abuse of these abhorrent acts to target religious communities. We invite members to join their counter protest in Sunderland on 15 September at 1.15pm, Keel Square, Sunderland.

For further information contact Claire Rodgerson

Misogyny as a hate crime

The action team continues to push to have misogyny recognised as a hate crime. You may have seen in the press this week that Citizens Action across the UK took us a step closer to this.

Tyne & Wear Citizens action team will continue to work with colleagues in Nottingham and Manchester to make this a reality!

Mental Health

The Mental Health Action Team have had a busy summer working through the hundreds of written testimonies and verbal testimonies given across the three public hearings. They met this week and have agreed upon a series of asks which will be presented at the mental health assembly on 22 November. There are now three campaign teams working on those asks and preparing for the assembly.

We really need all member institutions to begin working on turnout for the assembly. Our power is in our numbers. Those of you who attended the launch assembly will know that a packed out room gets us results. We are more likely to make progress if we have a full room. Please send your turnout numbers to Helena and book your tickets via the Eventbrite page.

If you want to be involved in planning the assembly or the campaign teams and aren’t already please contact Joe.

Finally…Save the date – Celebration & Recognition Event

Thursday 6 December 7.00 - 9.00pm

After all that hard work, we will be celebrating our wins and recognising leaders who have made a difference at a celebration and recognition event in December. Hold the date, more information to follow. But expect music, food, friendship and laughter.


You can keep up to date on all the latest news from Tyne and Wear Citizens by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

Upcoming Events:

15 September, Living Wage Action, St James Park
15 September, Stand Up to Racism
28 & 29 September, 2 day training

7 - 12 October, 6 day training
13 October, Reclaim the Metro

14 November, 6 day training accreditation day
22 November, Mental Health Assembly will take place at Newcastle Civic Centre, tickets available from Eventbrite.

Thursday 6 December Celebration & Recognition Event


For more information about events or the works of Tyne and Wear Citizens please contact Fr. Chris Hughes by email or tel: 0191 257 5801 or Sara Bryson of Tyne and Wear Citizens on her email.