198 petitions

Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Amber Rudd MP


Kerry-Anne Herselman is a 30-year South African woman. She is at risk of being removed by the Home Office to a country where she has nobody to look after her and nowhere to stay. Kerry, who came on an Ancestral Visa, has been living with Kathryn Marshall, her 57-year- old British mother since her arrival in the UK in 2010. I am Kerry’s aunt and I have launched this petition on behalf of her to call on the Home Office to grant Kerry leave to remain in the UK.  Both Kerry and her mother suffered horrific abuse because of family violence over many years in South Africa. Kerry was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and because of the abuse she suffered is now unable to cope with normal life. She spent the first few years after she arrived in the UK mostly in her room due to chronic depression and even now seldom goes out. Her psychologist's assessment states that she would be unable to cope with a job without having had intensive treatment and the support of her mother. She also has multiple chemical sensitivity which prevents her from going out. Even having to travel to report to the immigration office using public transport has rendered her ill for days, and her doctor wrote to the immigration department asking that they reduce the number of times she had to do this, which they agreed to. The Immigration department have stated that if Kerry is afraid of suffering further abuse should she go back to South Africa, she could go and live in another town in South Africa and communicate with her family in the UK online; I submit if she did this she would easily be able to be found via social media and her life would be put in danger. In addition to this, her mother, who is a British citizen, would have to give up her job here and return to a dangerous and uncertain future in order to support and take care of her.    Kerry and her mother have been threatened with a firearm by an abusive family member in South Africa on many occasions; the police were called on numerous occasions and had to remove the firearm for their safety. She and her mother have had to be sheltered on numerous occasions by other family members. This abusive family member even engaged a private detective to find them on one occasion. Because of her situation, Kerry’s mother has had to work to support both of them on a minimum wage, so there is no money to launch a judicial review. She also has to pay off considerable debt arising from Kerry's application for the right to remain in the UK, which has failed. They are also unable to raise enough money for airfares and accommodation in South Africa.   Kerry has a brother in South Africa, but he is not likely to want to help as the abusive family member would easily find her there as he lives nearby and has regular contact with her brother. Kerry-Anne would not have the money to access medical care in South Africa.  There is no public health system to speak of and private health care costs are astronomical. The immigration department based one of their decisions on the fact that Kerry Anne had received medical treatment in South Africa in the past, but this was when she was a child and was able to access this through her father's private medical insurance. This would definitely no longer apply as she is an adult. Kerry-Anne is very close to her other brother who lives just down the road with his British partner and their young daughter, as well as to other members of her extended family here in the UK. We have a social responsibility to take care of our vulnerable loved ones and I am asking the UK Home Office to use compassion in allowing Mrs. Herselman to take care of her daughter in her time of need. UK immigration have said Kerry-Anne is not entitled by law to remain in the UK and is to return to South Africa with immediate effect,  where she will not be able to get a job or take care of herself in any way, and where in my opinion her life would be in danger.  

Carol Forsberg
1,551 supporters
Update posted 3 days ago

Petition to Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, all party leaders and Parliament

50:50 Parliament want an inclusive, accessible and gender balanced Parliament. Join us!

At Westminster, in the corridors of power, men outnumber women by more than 2:1 in the Commons and 3:1 in the Lords. After the 2017 general election only around 208 of our 650 MPs are women, 442 (68%) are men. Women are the majority in life but the minority in Parliament.  If Parliament is inaccessible to women many others must and do face hurdles too. Let's build a better democracy together. 50:50 want an, inclusive, modern and gender balanced Parliament.  It would lead to more responsive and informed decision making so everyone would benefit. This petition is asking those in power for solutions.  50:50Parliament also aim to inspire, support and encourage political participation with our #AskHerToStand campaign.  All political parties agree that a gender balanced Parliament consisting of around 50% men and 50% women would be better, see this video clip here! So, 50:50 want action, as the old Suffragette saying goes: "Deeds not words!". Sign to show that you share our aspiration for an accessible 50:50 Parliament, because what get's measured gets managed! This is what our letter says: "Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, all party leaders and Parliament, We need a more gender balanced House of Commons, around 50:50 men and women. Please collaborate and do something: debate and take action to make Parliament more gender balanced, like life." People from across the UK have signed. The more signatures on the 50:50 Parliament Petition, the more Parliament will listen. So make a difference and SIGN NOW! To read more about why this matters and the many solutions see the 50:50 Parliament submission to the Women and Equalities Select Committee Inquiry here. This is about Human Rights. In 1948 the Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed the equal rights of men and women. Parliament is the place to start. 50:50 are writing to all the party leaders and Parliament because they have the power to sort this out. Over 40 countries have better gender balanced Parliaments than the UK so it is possible. The UK should be a world leader. "This is a non-partisan issue, concerning the quality of governance and nature of democracy". 50:50 want all women to have an equal say concerning reproductive rights, parenting policy, equal pay, maternity care and violence against women for more informed policy making. 50:50 want all women to have an equal say in formulating economic policy, health care, welfare, defense strategy, foreign affairs, the environment, transport, education and all issues because these decisions affect them as much as anyone else. As Prof Ngaire Woods from Oxford University says "We know that when women are in parliament…it builds more resilient, responsive, better informed institutions.” Diversity leads to better decision making. Evidence suggests that men can represent women but they tend to do so better when there are more women in the room. Parliament should be leading the way, spearheading the changes required, for gender equality and respect for women. Nearly 100 years after women won the right to vote it's time to right this historic wrong, women need an equal say. 50:50 Parliament is an inclusive, cross party, non-partisan campaign. 50:50 run an Ambassador Programme to inspire interest and engagement with politics and have launched the #AskHerToStand campaign to encourage and support women in standing as MPs. Only 325 women MPs are needed for a #5050Parliament which amounts to 1 in every 100,000 women which is great, because clearly politics might not appeal to everyone, but it might suit 1 in 100,000 women and our country needs them. If you know a woman who would make a good MP #AskHerToStand. Two comments on the petition say it all: Helen "Apart from the obvious injustice we are in no position to under-utilise so much talent”- Helen, “If the institution of Parliament discourages women to participate, it is the institution that needs to change.” – Malcolm. Sign for #5050Parliament. Add your voice and make a comment! Join us in asking for this pressing democratic issue to be sorted out. Thank you. Frances, Sadaf, Brian, Tina, Charlie and Nathalie #5050Parliament Team 50:50 Key Links: For more information see 50:50 submission to Women & Equalities Select Committee Become a 50:50 Ambassador - fill in the form online Stand to become an MP! 50:50 want to support you see #AskHerToStand Like - Follow on Twitter - @5050Parliament See 50:50 Films  - 50:50 Parliament on YouTube Buy campaign merch at - 50:50 Parliament Shop 50:50 in the News: Parliament agrees there is a "serious democratic deficit" and #5050Parliament says "There are some great women out there, so let’s start asking them to stand" The Guardian The Guardian reports on launch of #5050Parliament #AskHerToStand campaign "Gender parity among MPs at risk of stalling, say women's groups" Cathy Newman, Channel 4 News supports #5050Parliament in The Telegraph 50:50 Parliament in Marie Claire #IWD2016 50:50 Parliament profiled in The Telegraph, 50:50 Parliament - Huffington Post, Evening Standard The Guardian 50:50 Parliament - Star on Parliamentary TV at Women & Equalities Committee Oral Evidence Session #StripTees 50:50 Key Blogs: Following in the Footsteps of Fawcett Gender Equality is a Human Right, so Women Need More Seats in Parliament! Family Friendly Parliament Tax on Tampons Is the Tip of the Iceberg Obama says Tampon Tax Is Because ‘Men Were Making the Laws’ Carey Mulligan Demonstrates Support for 50:50Parliament at the Premier of 'Suffragette' 50:50 Films: 50:50 Ambassadors Campaign Video Carey Mulligan supporting 50:50 Parliament at Suffragette Premier & Sisters Uncut Demo Paloma Faith Supporting 50:50 Parliament Gemma Arterton Supporting 50:50 Parliament MPs Supporting #5050Parliament Campaign #5050Parliament at Feminism in London 2015 #5050Parliament at WOW Festival 2015

Frances Scott and the 50:50 Parliament Team
51,743 supporters
Update posted 7 days ago

Petition to mayor for tower hamlets

Support for Discriminated Women in Tower Hamlets temporary accommodation

 Petition We the undesigned petition the following: We request any move on initiative to be administered fairly and in the context of our living situation.  We petition that women in WO are not adequately housed. We petition Tower Hamlets LETTINGS to upgrade residents bidding priority from the lowest band. We request Lookahead, the Salvation Army, Tower Hamlets Supported Acommodation commissioning team to confirm WO closure in writing We petition that any evidence used to support a proposal to reduce the supply of accommodation for homeless women in the borough is made available to the public. We petition that our health, safety and well being be adequately observed by Lookahead, the Salvation Army, Tower Hamlets Supported Acommodation commissioning team and Tower Hamlets council. WE PETITION AGAINST ANY FURTHER DISCRIMINATION BY TOWARDS WOMEN IN THE BOROUGH WHO ARE VULNERABLE    Women only Hostel (WO) BackgroundWO Hostel is locally described as a SALVATION ARMY BROTHEL. Funded by Tower Hamlets Supported Accommodation Commissioning Team and sustained by tower hamlets council. Sex workers operate on the doorstep nightly, and punters openly shout to them from the street throughout the day and night. The Salvation Army have been the landlord since it was built and they managed the service until Lookahead became the service provider in 2015. They continue to act as Landlord.The Hostel houses 118 women. It exists in what is known as a red light district in east London.Women with a range of disabilities, including physical and mental health conditions, are housed in the temporary accommodation after being referred by Tower Hamlets HOST (Housing Options Service team).Despite the hostel being temporary accommodation, Tower Hamlets lettings categorises women here as adequately housed. Consequently, after being referred by Tower Hamlets and HOST, the council dispel any duty of care to residents. The women referred here are categorised as vulnerable adults due to a range of disabilities, behaviours and history. Women experience the physical dangers of the hostel on a daily basis, present both inside the hostel and the surrounding community which associates with it. This includes all manners of abuse including financial, verbal and physical, mental abuse, emotional abuse, Drug abuse and coercion, sex work and coercion, and assault, to name a few. Most women have been asked in the surrounding areas for sexual services, including staff and vulnerable residents who are not sex workers. Drug dealers operate freely. There has been more than one instance when a resident may enter the facility drug free, and is eventually known to sell sexual services in the community to fund serious drug addiction. When someone is disenfranchised to the point of homelessness, the first advice people give is to get a job. Although this is unfeasible for residents who have disabilities which prevent them from working. There are residents who have tried to and have experienced severe barriers directly related to the hostel. The rent for one room in the hostel is £872.52 per month. Service charge for a room is £13.62 bringing the total rent for a room to £927 per month for a room with shared kitchen and laundry facilities. Taking into account the chaotic nature of the building, maintaing a job becomes problematic. Even if motivated to work, it is widely accepted, and residents are advised, not to work more than 16 hours to stay in receipt of full housing benefit.  What has been established in the hostel as a result is a “benefit trap” which is only profitable to SAHA, the Salvation Army Landlord. With residents encouraged into long term benefit claims, (which we are of course vilified for). The service charge in the hostel is higher than most council properties. Since the change in management to lookahead, resident services have indeed been cut, including the breakfast of tea and toast. The only meal some of the most vulnerable residents ate. Planned closureIt has come to the attention of some residents that The Salvation Army plan to convert the neighbouring hostel, booth house, into commercial flats. As a result Tower Hamlets is on course to loose bed space for over 100 homeless adults.Coincidentally the Supported accommodation commissioning team for tower hamlets have verbally said that the demand for single homeless women does not meet the 118 capacity of the WO building. Contrary to its operating at full capacity throughout the year. Rumours that WO Hostel will be closed down have been widely accepted and verbally confirmed as true. However this has never officially been communicated residents in writing. Residents have received no written confirmation from the Salvation Army, The Commissioning team, or Lookahead that a closure has been proposed and accepted. It would appear that all parties involved were resolved to “keeping residents in the dark”. Instead a new move on drive has been initiated by HOST, lookahead and the commissioning team in a series of meetings with those residents available to attend. Although we wish to leave the hostel, we are presently cautious of the new intentions behind the HOST initiative behind residents “move on pathways”. Maintaining the assumption that a WO Hostel closure is in preparation. Conclusion An allocations scheme has been in effect until April 2017. It allocated 75 one bedroom council properties for the purpose of rehousing tenants from supported accommodation. In 2015 the actual lets for people from supported accommodation were 40. Since 2012, the 75 target has never been met. No known WO residents have ever been nominated to the scheme. This implies continued discrimination against women in supported accommodation in the borough. Women who live here, carry the stigma of living in this hostel every day throughout our time here. For some residents that has been a number of months. However many residents have been here for a number of years. Being moved to another hostel after so much time is unreasonable as an understatement. In this petition we are making a stand for ourselves and vulnerable women who may become homeless in the future. The possibility of becoming homeless AGAIN continues to be a source of anxiety and despair for the residents who live here. It is peculiar that the cabinet member for Housing and development has in the recent past boasted to providing a “£2.2m Preventing Homelessness Fund” (presumably more since this statement). Yet in the case of supported housing, has consistently under provided secure tenancy homes according to their own targets. We feel that Tower Hamlets Supported housing commissioning team, HOST, Lookahead and the Salvation Army have in the past shown a blatant disregard for our safety and wellbeing throughout the presumed process of closing WO Hostel. Impeding “move on pathways” should in the least regard our health and status of living in a supported accommodation set for closure. True failings of WO should be admitted in their entirety. They need to be addressed in full, and used to prevent continued systematic failings across supported accommodation. We reject an observed "cover up" of the institutional failings of WO. We reject the disempowerment of residents who have been presented with no information on the closure and who are being forced into a cycle of homelessness.

concerned HTH residents
37 supporters