The housing crisis in Britain has reached new lows in 2017, with 1 in every 200 people in the UK being homeless, house prices soaring far beyond the range of ordinary people, and social housing stock being decommissioned and not replaced. Quakers are stepping into the breach wherever they can – setting up YMCAs in meeting houses, running housing initiatives for young carers, and submitting amendments to housing bills as they go through parliament.
In this episode of Q:Witness, Parliamentary Engagement Officer Jessica Metheringham speaks about living in true community, the Quaker roots of the Ethical Landlords Association, and upcoming work around demanding big-scale policy changes.
We also speak with Jon Scarth of the anti-poverty campaigning organisation Quaker Social Action, which is 150 this year. Jon is piloting a housing scheme for young adults with caring responsibilities in East London, ensuring that they have an opportunity to live independently for the first time, and form their own connections to the wider world.
Learn more about the projects and organisations mentioned in this podcast:
Making witness happen
“Peace on its own is so closely tied with equality, truth and simplicity. Living by them is not so much an action but a way of life."
This episode focuses on making witness happen, shifting towards a movement-focused approach from a more information-based one.
We chat to Gurpreet Bola, Hannah Smith and Maya Williams about their work to support groups to take action on different issues and how you can access this.
We also catch up with two people who attended the Quaker Activist Gathering earlier this month. Lesley Grahame gives an update on supporting the ban on nuclear weapons and Laurence Hall talks about his concern around housing, particularly around justice for residents of Grenfell Tower.
Read stories of Quaker action at www.quaker.org.uk/stories-witness. Download the toolkit for action at www.quaker.org.uk/toolkit-for-action. Discover more about the work of young Friends in The Young Quaker theyoungquaker.org.uk.
Find out about upcoming Quaker events:
- Skilling up for the new economy, Manchester, 18–19 November
- Quaker Peace & Social Witness Spring Conference 2018, Swanwick, 23–25 March
- Sanctuary Everywhere: QCEA-QPSW conference, Brussels, 1–3 Dec
"It's really hard to stop 30,000 arms buyers from getting into the Excel centre, but it's really easy – and it feels amazing! – to stop a truck with a tank on from driving into the arms fair."
In this episode of Q:Witness we talk about the many ways that people can help build a peaceful society. We hear from Sam Walton who helped organise the headline-grabbing actions to try and stop the world's largest arms fair in London this September; Ellis Brooks joins us to share news and hopes around peace education in British schools; and we celebrate this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Make a donation: www.quaker.org.uk/giving
Find out about the Sanctuary Everywhere conference in Brussels this December: www.qcea.org/home/events/conferences/
Find out about the Take Action on Militarism Gathering: www.quaker.org.uk/events/taomg
Register for regular peace work email updates: www.quaker.org.uk/educate-disarm
Apologies if you were looking for this episode last Friday (13 Oct). We had a few technical hiccoughs and had to delay the release.
Britain Yearly Meeting works on Quaker concerns nationally and internationally. In Q:Witness, learn about the work and how you can get involved. From social action and peacebuilding to economic justice and sustainability, we bring you analysis of the issues and ways to take action. You'll hear both from staff and from Quakers taking action.
If you have a comment or question about the show, please feel free to tweet using the hashtag #Qwitness and we'll be able to respond. Or get in touch using the details below.
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