York as a Human Rights City

You might be interested in this information (below) about York aiming to be the UK’s first Human Rights City.

“York Human Rights City Network is working in partnership with York CVS, City of York Council and North Yorkshire Police on a project to establish a set of Human Rights Indicators in York: the first step towards fulfilling York’s commitment to becoming the UK’s first Human Rights City. Indicators are a tangible way of measuring progress towards respect for the human rights of York residents year on year, and we believe that community groups, the voluntary sector and service users should be working together with statutory partners to decide what these are.

We would like to hear your views on a range of local human rights issues, and your opinions on what recommendations could be made to improve them. These will be put into a report launched in September at a conference launching our new bottom-up model of measuring human rights to other cities across the UK and Europe. We will also be conducting workshops at each of the partner agencies to present our findings.

In particular, we want to measure three aspects of human rights provisions in York:

  • The availability of services (eg. Are services available to fulfil a particular right?)
  • The accessibility and services to particular groups of people (eg. Are some peoplepriced out of access to services? Are there language barriers?)
  • The quality of rights and services (eg. How can the quality of the service be improved?)

Through surveying residents and interviewing community groups, we identified five main areas that we will be focusing on during the first year of the project, and will be conducting focus groups at York CVS (Priory Street Centre) during the week commencing the 18th May to explore these further. We would like to invite you to the groups you feel are most relevant to your work or interests.

  • Monday 18th May: Equality and Discrimination, Clementhorpe Room, 2 – 4pm
  • Wednesday 20th May: Health and Social Care, Denham Room, 2 – 4pm
  • Thursday 21st May: Housing, Clementhorpe Room, 2 – 4pm
  • Friday 22nd May: Education, Main Room, 10 – 12 am
  • Friday 22nd May: Standards of Living, Main Room, 2 – 4pm

We will be exploring the following questions:

  • What groups of people are particularly affected by this issue
  • What are the main factors behind issues in this area?
  • What would be the best way of measuring improvements over time?
  • What recommendations are within the reach of local agencies to improve this issue?

All focus groups will be held at York CVS (Priory Street Centre). Please email yorkhumanrightscitynetwork@gmail.com to register interest in any of the focus groups, letting us know if you have any access requirements. Refreshments will be provided, and the sessions will take no longer than two hours.

We would also like to be able to use case studies in our report. These may showcasing an innovative project or group working to tackle issues in York, or an anonymous story of a service user demonstrating the need for change. We are also looking for pictures and photos: this could be from a community group meeting, or a more personal understanding of what a particular issue (e.g. Housing) means for someone living in York. This will be supported by a social media campaign.

If you are unable to make a focus group but would still like to participate in the project, please feel free to email your thoughts, case studies and photos. We may be able to set up alternative groups or one on ones interviews if necessary.”

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Local Election Hustings – Tomorrow, Wednesday 29 April, 7.30pm

Voters in the Micklegate Ward have a chance to question their prospective Councillors at the Micklegate Ward Hustings.

7.30pm, Wednesday 29th April, in St Clements Church, Scarcroft Road.

We understand all the political parties and an independent will be present.

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Time to get sowing!

Spring is trying to spring (honestly!) … and it’s time to get some seeds in the ground. Come and join us this Wednesday at 9.30. We’ll be sowing beans and peas, so suitable for small hands as well as big!

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Eco-homes in York

The weekend of 16-17 May will see York’s first ever Open Eco Homes event, which will showcase and offer advice on eco-refurbishment and green building measures.

Could your home be part of it? Have you:

  • insulated your house?
  • installed double/triple window glazing?
  • got low energy lighting system?
  • installed renewable heating or electricity generation?
  • cut the carbon footprint of your home in any other ways?

The event aims to show a wide range of measures from small to big ones in different types of houses across the city. If you have made any energy-saving improvements in your home and would be happy to open doors to visitors between 1-4pm on one or both days of that weekend, please get in touch with Ivana at St Nicks to find out more: 01904 411 821 or ivana@stnicks.org.uk

The event is funded by Green Open Homes network which has supported numerous similar events around the country. St Nicks’ partners for the York event are: Yorkshire Energy Partnership, Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust and City of York Council.

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Three events we’ve heard about that you might be interested in

Alom Shaha – the Young Atheist’s Handbook

Sunday 29 March, 3pm, at Millthorpe School, as part of York Literature Festival, an event suitable for adults and secondary-school children. Book tickets here 

SuustainableCity York: How can we secure York’s future as an innovative, resilient city?

Though this event has already booked out, e-mail paul.mccabe@york.gov.uk to go on the waiting list or to receive notes of the event and be involved in future developments arising from this initiative.

And last call to register for the Common Cause workshop this Saturday 28 February, St Clements Hall.

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Because we all need some Common Cause in our lives…

Places are being snapped up for the workshop to be held on 28 February. Folk have booked from across York and the north of England; and here’s your chance to join them.

It’s the first Common Cause workshop to be held in the north of England, on Saturday 28 February at Clements Hall. The workshop is facilitated by the Public Interest Research Centre, and hosted by Planet South Bank.

The workshop comes personally recommended: I’ve attended the equivalent workshop in London and found it really inspiring, so I was really pleased when the facilitators accepted Planet South Bank’s invitation to bring the workshop to York.

The workshop looks at why some campaign messages reach their audiences so successfully, and how to inspire greater community engagement when raising awareness of social or environmental issues.

So whether you’re trying to influence the council, or looking for signatures on a local petition, or trying to get your neighbours interested in a local issue, this workshop is an opportunity not to be missed.

Open to everyone in York; entry by donation.

More details and tickets at http://valuesandframes.org/event/open-workshop-york/

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Here’s your Saturday night sorted

Singing to a Greener Tune – an evening of entertainment at the Winning Post on Bishopthorpe Road. This Saturday, 7 February, 8.15 start; doors open 7.30.

There will be 4 acts, including terrific local band ‘Karno’s Circus’.

Free admission, though it may cost you a bit to get back out…. Expect a great atmosphere, some excellent music, and maybe one or two surprises.

All proceeds to Planet South Bank – it’s a fundraiser event. Planet South Bank is a voluntary group, helping local residents to learn more about climate change, reduce their carbon footprints, lead greener lives – and have fun doing it.

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