Articles in the 'campaigns' category

#EndHungerUK Update: Expanding the Food Exchange Project at Birmingham University

As a follow up to the productive meeting with Gisela Stuart MP in January, students from Cathsoc, Angsoc and Methsoc at the University of Birmingham met with Ben Bailey, head of student services, to discuss how they might expand their food exchange project to the whole university. The food exchange initiative began as a Faith in Action project in 2015, collecting surplus food from outlets on campus and redistributing it to a local homeless charity. You can read more about the project here.

The ambitious students, encouraged by Ms Stuart, are hoping that Birmingham University might become a zero food waste university and help those in need at the same time!

Ben Bailey said:

"It was a real pleasure to meet with a group of people who have real passion to tackle the important issue of food waste. It was yet another great reminder of what fantastic contributions to the University and wider society our students can and do make. Our discussion of ideas about how they can accelerate progress towards realising their ambitions in reducing food waste was both aspirational and practical, which can be a really powerful combination. I'm looking forward to seeing how the ideas and plans develop to build on the existing success."

We at SCM will continue to encourage and support the students at Birmingham in any way we can in their projects. We are inspired by them and all the students in our SCM group who are making such a positive impact in the world. Watch this space for more!

Tags: campaignsfaith in actionfood exchangefood wasteend hunger ukBirmingham

SCM Holds Big Conversation in Liverpool to Tackle Hunger

St Bride's Church, Liverpool hosted a Big Conversation event on Monday 27 February as part of the End Hunger UK campaign. The event began with a video clip which highlighted negative attitudes to people who were on benefits or used foodbanks. The group then discussed the root causes of poverty and hunger in the this country and came up with ideas for tackling the problem. The solutions ranged from 'community shops' (shops which sell items which are past their sell-by dates at discounted prices and build community at the same time) to putting an end to exploitative contracts.

We also talked about the poverty premium (how poor people pay more for electricity and far higher interest on loans) and how people spiral into terrible debt very quickly in a culture and capitalist system which exploits and abuses them on purpose. One person gave the example of someone he knew who paid over £1,000 on credit for a TV which should have cost £300! A couple of people spoke of their own personal experience of living on the edge of poverty and one person said that they had experienced how impersonal the 'system' can be, for example when you can't pay a fine: instead of helping you to pay in increments, the fine just keeps getting bigger.

Rounding off the conversation, we discussed next steps in the campaign and the policy asks we will be putting to the government. Everyone was interested in getting involved further in the campaign going forward. All the participants then wrote what they believe the government could do to end hunger on a paper plate.

Ruth Wilde, Faith in Action Project worker said 'It was really great to meet with such engaged and compassionate people at St Bride's. I hope that the problems and the solutions which we discussed will be heard by the government and that the campaign will be successful in both raising awareness of the issue of food poverty and pushing the government to make changes in policy. Even small things could make a massive difference to people's lives.'

Tags: campaignsfaith in actionend hunger ukfood povertyliverpoolSt Brides' Church

Big Conversation- Liverpool

Come along to St Bride's for a Big Conversation about food poverty and what we can do about it. People from St Bride's and other churches in Liverpool will be meeting in the evening over a cuppa to discuss what can be done to make life better for people struggling to get by. The event is part of the End Hunger UK campaign by Church Action on Poverty, Oxfam, Trussell Trust, FareShare and other partners. SCM is supporting the campaign this year and next. 

Where is it? 

St Bride's is in the Georgian Quarter of Liverpool near Liverpool Cathedral. The postcode is L8 7LT. Plan your route by car, train or bus here.

How much does it cost?

The event is free. It is a campaign event, so the most important thing is that you turn up and join the conversation. Our aim is to put pressure on the government to change things for the better. 

Tags: end hunger ukcampaignsfeeding britain

When

Mon, 27/02/2017 - 19:30 to 21:00

Where

St Bride's Church, Percy Street, Liverpool, L8 7LT.

Event price

FREE

Contact name

Ruth Wilderuth@movement.org.uk

Contact telephone

01214264918

Big Conversation - Leeds

Come along to All Hallows for a Big Conversation about food poverty and what we can do about it. You can pop in and have a drink or a bite to eat at the junk food café between 11am and 2pm, and get involved with the debate to change things and make life better for people struggling to get by. The event is part of the End Hunger UK campaign by Church Action on Poverty, Oxfam, Trussell Trust, FareShare and other partners. SCM is supporting the campaign this year and next. 

Where is it? 

All Hallows Church is in the Hyde Park area of Leeds. The postcode is LS6 1NP. Plan your route by bus, car or train here

How much does it cost?

The event is free. It is a campaign event, so the most important thing is that you turn up and join the conversation. Our aim is to put pressure on the government to change things for the better. 

Tags: end hunger ukcampaignsfeeding britain

When

Thu, 16/02/2017 - 11:00 to 14:00

Where

All Hallows Church, Regent Terrace, Hyde Park, Leeds, LS6 1NP.

Event price

FREE

Contact name

Ruth Wilderuth@movement.org.uk

Contact telephone

01214264918

Youth and Student Groups Urge Government to Scrap Trident Replacement

A collection of youth and student groups, including the Student Christian Movement (SCM) and young Quakers, have today called on the British government to scrap plans to replace the Trident Nuclear Programme. The letter, signed by a variety of political and religious groups, outlines reasons for scrapping Trident, including protecting the future of young people and establishing a society based on peace, justice and shared prosperity.

In their statement, young Quaker group Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM) said, “We believe that renewing Trident would be a step back from the pursuit of a peaceful world and, in its destructiveness, disregards that of God in every person. We feel that the UK’s resources should go into something that sustains life, rather than destroys it. We urge the government not to recommission Trident and to focus on peaceful approaches to national security and conflict resolution.”

A majority of the British public are against Trident renewal, and younger people are more likely to be anti-Trident. A survey by WMD Awareness showed that only 19% of 18-35 year olds believe the UK nuclear weapon system should be renewed to maintain its current size and capacity. This joint letter is an initiative to make this opposition visible, and to call upon the government to respect the wishes of younger people.

Emma Temple, a trustee on SCM’s General Council, said, “SCM supports scrapping Trident because we are committed to nurturing the kind of society which we believe God wants to build –  a society based on compassion, community, and peace. Replacing Trident would affirm all the things in our society which hinder this vision. By living out of fear, clinging onto power by threat of violence, and nurturing disregard for human lives, we would be creating a society which is neither sustainable nor just.”

“Trident’s replacement will cost over £100 billion over its lifetime – and with that money, we could fully fund all A&E services in hospitals for 40 years, or cancel tuition fees for 4 million students,” said the Young Greens. ”It’s clear, too, that the UK has a duty to lead the way in creating a nuclear-free world, and the only way to do that is full nuclear disarmament.’

The letter was published following a demonstration outside the Burghfield Atomic Weapons Establishment on Monday, where 8 people were arrested following blockades of all entrances into the facility. Members of Put Down the Sword, Quakers, and London Catholic Worker were among those involved in the blockade.

The peaceful demonstration was part of a month of action organised by Trident Ploughshares to protest the replacement of Trident. All construction traffic to AWE Burghfield was blocked since the first week in June.

Tags: tridentnuclear weaponsCNDPeacecampaigns

SCM mourns passing of peace activist and priest Fr Daniel Berrigan

SCM today mourns the passing of Fr Daniel Berrigan, a Jesuit priest and peace activist who influenced many people within the movement. Berrigan died at the age of 94 on 30 April in the company of family members. He spoke at ‘Seeds of Liberation’, SCM’s annual conference in January 1973, which became a defining moment in the movement’s history.

Writing in a blog post, SCM member Ross Jesmont said: “Daniel Berrigan's life is an example of what is looks like to live with integrity. To live a faithful witness to Jesus' teaching. In his addresses to the SCM [in 1973] he taught the importance of scripture and the centrality of community. For me his examples, words and questions continue to shape my faith.”

Less than a year before the conference in January, Berrigan had just been released from prison in the United States, under charges of burning draft files in protest at the Vietnam War. He played an crucial role in energising the anti-war movement at the time, and in 1980 founded the ‘Plowshares Movement’ by protesting the construction of nuclear missiles at the General Electric nuclear missile facility in Pennsylvania, US.

At SCM’s 1973 conference, Berrigan spoke about the need for people to renew faith and spirituality within the pursuit of peace and justice, highlighting the importance of Scripture in understanding and tackling the realities of the world. He spoke to an audience of over 350 participants, who also heard from Alistair Kee who laid the foundations for a new prophetic calling, saying, ‘unlike the politicos who have no time for religion, unlike the religious who have no time for the political, the new situation requires a personal integration of two traditions.’

In 2013 SCM held another Seeds of Liberation conference to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1973 event. In an interview in Movement magazine issue 143, Fr John Dear SJ said Berrigan was “one of the greatest peacemakers in modern times. He helped me understand that Jesus is nonviolent, calls us to be peacemakers, and that you can’t be a Christian and support war.”

Tags: Daniel Berriganjesuitnonviolenceanti-warcampaignsseeds of liberation

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