On the 31st October 5 of our members were lucky enough to attend the Unite Community & PCS Social Security Summit in Birmingham.

The summit’s aim: to challenge the myths around ‘welfare’ and build a coalition to fight for our safety net.

It was an amazingly well attended event with Unite Community members from groups all around the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland.

Other organisations in attendance on the day were Back Triangle and DPAC (Disabled People Against the Cuts) who spoke passionately about people’s direct experiences of the attacks on our welfare system and support for those in need.

There were introductions, workshops, speeches and discussions.

Every one of us could choose to take part in two workshops each, and I think that between our 5 members we certainly covered them all.

Workshops

  • Building a broad based coalition – how do we engage with charities, religious bodies, food banks, NGOs etc.
  • Changing the narrative – how do we use the media to get stories out of the true effects of the cuts to the welfare budget.
  • Equality – how do we engage and increase participation of women, disabled, young people and the BAEM communities who are disproportionately affected by the welfare cuts.
  • The Welfare and Work Bill and fighting cuts – what will the Bill mean and how can we campaign against it.
  • Lobbying our political representatives – how do we put pressure on our elected politicians and win political support to stop the cuts

The summit was an fantastic opportunity to meet like-minded people and learn about how they are organising and campaigning.

DPAC’s experiences and successes with direct citizen activism really shone out to me.

For a complete article on the day please read the Leeds Unite Community Groups blog which details every activity and topic.

Here’s some photos from the day.

The Taunton to Birmingham Express

Our reflection in Grand Central

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