Neil Jameson is the Founding Executive Director of CITIZENS UK.
As such, he and his colleague Organisers are now driving the UK’s largest and most diverse community organising Training Institute, professional Guild of Organisers and a growing network of broad based CITIZENS Alliances in Greater London, Nottinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Greater Birmingham, Leeds, Tyne and Wear and Wales.
He is first and foremost a Community Organiser – seeking talented leaders and young Organisers who have the courage and commitment to work with others democratically to strengthen civil society and pursue the common good. CITIZENS UK’s members initiated and still steer the UK’s Living Wage Campaign and Foundation which are now delivering millions of pounds in higher wages to 80,000 low waged workers and their families from 2,500 accredited LW employers.
The primary aim of Citizens UK (which was launched in 1989) is to locate a much stronger and better organised civil society at the heart of UK governance and public life. Two of our strap lines are – ‘reweaving the fabric of society’ and ‘putting democracy into action’. CUK now has a budget of nearly £4m and staff team of 70 – 45 of whom are professional Community Organisers.
Neil has been named by The Guardian as one of the UK’s most significant public servants. In 2012 his work for civil society and East London was recognised when he was made an Honorary Fellow of Queen Mary London University. In 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by The Open University. He was awarded a CBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours List for ‘services to community organising and social justice’.
He has travelled extensively and worked in the USA and Sudan on civil society projects. Prior to CITIZENS he had worked for 20 years in the public and voluntary sector – with Somerset and Coventry Local Authority – and Save the Children and The Childrens Society in the UK.
He seeks a legacy of a much stronger, more powerful and better organised civil society sector in the UK, but knows that this will not just happen! It needs sophisticated and creative CITIZENS Organisers and leaders who see their primary role as Institution Builders. It also requires enlightened funders and friends who are prepared to invest in civil society as the First Sector whose core institutions are the pillars of a democratic society where people learn the art of politics and the necessity of working with others and pursuing the common good.