Many people dream of doing good as in doing good is much
satisfaction and fulfilment. Few are lucky enough to do good through out their
lives and see their wishes, aspirations and dreams come true. Neil Jameson was
undoubtedly one of the very few who achieved a lot, yet who remained in the
shadows of doing good as he didn’t enjoy the spotlight.
The unexpected death of Neil Jameson, a
husband, a father, a grandfather, a great friend to many, and more than any
thing else one of the finest community organisers in the world, is deeply
shocking and heart-breaking. Today we mourn the death of one
of the towering figures of Community Organising in the UK, who had the audacity
to challenge the state and the market through civic activism using community
organising. For Neil, there should be a place for civil society around the table.
For Neil, civil society need to organise intentionally and build its power to
sit around the table. For Neil, power is what it takes to make a difference.
For Neil, civil society has to organise around self interest and win together.
Yes for Neil, celebrating small wins whilst keeping organising for bigger wins
was more than important.
To share a reaction
Heartbroken and devastated to hear the death of @NeilJamesonUK the founder of @CitizensUK— 𝘽𝙚𝙠𝙚𝙡𝙚 𝙒𝙤𝙮𝙚𝙘𝙝𝙖 (@BekeleWoyecha) April 25, 2023
Neil was my mentor, my boss, my friend, family and father figure who has delivered a lot for many people across the UK and beyond.
Thank you Neil. You'll be in our hearts forever.
My encounter with Neil goes back to 2007. Then I was still
stuck in the immigration system and life in a limbo. London Citizens was
leading a campaign called ‘Strangers into Citizens’; and Neil was at
the helm of that campaign. That campaign was more than important for me and
1000s of others. I remember talking to Neil about the campaign and how long it
could take to see the fruits. Neil said, “It could take a while to win this
campaign, but it is worth going for”. That brought hopes and better feelings.
When I joined my first community organising training in March 2008, there was a
lot for me and my cohort to process. Lots of new ideas. All based on building
relationship and consequently building relational power.
Following the training, I joined the ‘Strangers into
citizens’ campaign both in London and Cardiff and the campaign paid off, as
most of those stuck in the system got their Indefinite Leave to Remain and
became citizens afterwards. They started to contribute to society, as they also
started to rebuild their lives. I still remember the words of Neil, “It could
take a while, but it is worth fighting”.
After I joined Citizens UK as a fully time community
organiser, there was a lot to learn from Neil and colleagues. For Neil, each
and everyone of us had important duties in shaping the role of civil society.
For Neil, we had something to contribute whilst working in the ‘world as it is’
and trying our best to take the ‘world to as it should be’.
As good as a seasoned and well-informed community
organiser Neil was, he also took time to invest in us and many others in many
sessions he led. One of my favourite sessions, especially during our
residential training was ‘ the scheduling’ session, where Neil would talk about
how best we should use our time whilst we are still able. He would also raise
about death and the uncomfortable truth.
For Neil, action is what matters. He wants us to be in
action. He would be there to support, to teach, to evaluate and
reorganise and come back. With Neils leadership and dedication, we are blessed
to have a great community organising in Citizens
UK. With Neil’s unwavering organising for fair and decent pay, we have
Wage Foundation, which has its seed in the Citizens UK. With Neil’s
tireless campaign and organising to build a more welcoming United Kingdom, we
Refugees and UK
Although Neil has departed, his legacies live with us. In
every action we take, be it for a better pay, better social care, refugees
welcome or stronger and organised civil society, we have Neil in our thoughts.
As we say goodbye to a gentle giant, we send our love and
gratitude to Neil’s family and all those affected by this tragic news.
Neil, May you Rest In Peace and Rise in Glory!
to share another reaction
Neil Jameson was tireless in campaigning for social justice and his commitment and passion improved the lives of thousands of Londoners across our city.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) April 25, 2023
He will be much missed, but his legacy will live on. My thoughts are with his family and friends today. https://t.co/iG12EWljNH