This article is by a Citizens Wales young leader – but you can submit your stuff to TheSprout, too.
Diverse citizens from the local communities of Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown have come together for power, social justice and the common good.
Representatives of faith groups, businesses and organisations in and around Cardiff Bay joined leaders from the Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown in an event sponsored by David Melding AM at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay. The ‘Bay Citizens Vision’ attracted over 80 people from the said communities to come together to organise for power, social justice and the common good.
The Cardiff Bay area has been well developed over the last two decades, with lots of big name businesses and organisations having a presence. However, many living nearby in Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown still feel underrepresented; be it at the National Assembly, Local Authority or within the many of the major businesses.
Reverend Peter Noble, lead chaplain of the Cardiff Bay Ecumenical Partnership, told the packed audience that “together we can make change, lets unite to tackle the issues affecting our communities”
Over the last 6 months leaders from the Butetown, Riverside and Grangetown areas of Cardiff have been undertaking an accredited Neighbourhood Leadership Module with Cardiff University alongside Citizens Cymru Wales a chapter of Citizens UK and who organise communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. Citizens Cymru Wales develop the leadership capacity of their members so they can hold politicians and other decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them.
The attendees heard, from Sharmarke Aman a 16yr old from Butetown who’s angry about his front garden being used as a rubbish tip by passers-by and not having the capacity to resolve it on his own.
but how about we came together we can raise this issue with those in power to sort out this problem?
Ahmed Mahamoud, a leader with Citizens Cymru Wales and and Butetown resident, gave testimony about his campaign to tackle, what he called a ‘needle epidemic’ that’s bringing harm to his community; due to careless drug users not dispensing of their used needles safely.
Ahmed mentioned that in Butetown, a number of local leaders are regularly clearing the park of used needles, particularly on a Saturday morning, when the local field is jam-packed with children playing youth football matches.
Having presented answers and stories that have emerged from their community listening campaigns, the leaders discussed their collective ideas for action, feeding them back at the Pierced Building.
Nirushan Sudarsan aged 17, gave feedback on the action he and other young people from the local area have been doing across Cardiff Bay. Just one month earlier, alongside other leaders from BRG, a group of 20 hand delivered letters to 30 different employers in the Bay to identify what companies pay the living wage, employ local people and adopt name blind & address blind recruitment practices. He mentioned how they had some interesting responses and how they plan to now step-up actions on employers that are yet to respond. He explained that the long term plan is to build relationships and help employers understand what people from these communities want from employers in their communities for a chance for them to build a different kind of relationship with the communities nearest to them.
Ali Abdi, Community Organiser with Citizens Cymru Wales and Co-Chair for the evening said “I am really impressed with the turnout of the Bay Vision Event, this shows that’s there is an appetite in our communities to tackle the issues that have come up in listening campaigns and by training leaders and using the community organising model we will now be able to tackle them”.
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