Change it! - New child-led campaign launching soon
Following the publication of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child’s Concluding Observations on the UK, we supported our See it, Say it, Change it steering group to select a campaign issue based on the UN Committee’s recommendations. After much deliberation and discussion the group decided to focus on homelessness. The placement of children in temporary accommodation for long periods of time and the need to guarantee all children access to adequate housing which is not damp, unsafe or unclean was highlighted by the UN as an area where the Government needed to make immediate improvements. The number of households with children living in temporary accommodation is almost two thirds more than in 2010 and includes 114,930 children or expected children.
In autumn 2016, we undertook a successful national recruitment campaign to engage new members in the steering group to lead the Change it! campaign. Ten new members joined the group - many of whom have direct experience of living in B&Bs or other forms of temporary accommodation. The steering group now has a total of 23 members from across England, aged 8 to 19.
The new group met for the first time in November 2016 for a brilliant day meeting, which took place at City Hall in London. As well spending time getting to know one another, the group learnt more about how to run a successful campaign and brainstormed ideas for a campaign film. The group also refined the campaign objective and decided to focus on stopping the placement of children in B&Bs for longer than the six week legal limit. At the end of June 2016, government statistics revealed that 3,390 families with dependent or expected children were living in B&B accommodation, more than double the number at the end of 2013 (1,560), with well over a third (1,140) living there for more than six weeks.
Change it! is the only children and young people campaign group of its kind. The new campaign will launch on 22nd February 2017 and children and young people will be able to join as young activists on our website. Being a young activist is an exciting opportunity for children and young people under the age of 18 to learn more about homelessness, gain campaign skills, including writing to decision makers, and have the opportunity to meet with their MP at a mass lobbying event at the Houses of Parliament in July 2017.
If you would like more information about the Change it! campaign, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org