Friday, 21 November 2014

NCS campaign reaches Secretary of State for Justice

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One of the best things about bringing people together through National Citizen Service is when young people start to campaign for change. One campaign that has been a real success is ‘Prisoners are People’, which has received a response from the Secretary of State for Justice, The Right Honourable Chris Grayling MP.

Carried out by a team from Woking in Surrey, the campaign raises the profile of poor sanitation and hygiene conditions experienced by female prisoners. The group were inspired to tackle this issue following a visit to a women’s support centre in Woking, where they heard personal stories from former prisoners.

The campaign was supported by local MP, Jonathan Lord, who stated being ‘very impressed’ by the team:
“They demonstrated huge amounts of passion and knowledge with regard to their campaign and they had the determination to take their concerns to the very top.”

An NCS campaign from Manchester has also been brought to the attention of key leaders. Entitled ‘Fair Fares’, the campaign calls for bus fare reductions in Greater Manchester. The team chose to focus on the issue following interviews with local residents who felt disgruntled by recent fare increases.

The team set out to secure 300 petition signatures when the campaign was carried out on Bury high street on a Sunday in September. Team leader, Caitlin Cowan, describes feeling ‘ecstatic’ when they managed to get over 1,100 signatures. Reflecting on her experience, she sates:
“Carrying out our NCS campaign made me more confident, as I had to talk to members of the public and council leaders. I’m really pleased with what we achieved in such a short period of time and it felt great to campaign on an issue which directly affects the lives of people in my local community.”

The petition has been presented to Bury Council and is awaiting a decision by the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee.

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