November Impact Report

Your contribution has helped people to raise their voices and fight injustice across the UK. Just this month there have been over 20 victories, hundreds of pieces of press and dozens of responses from decision makers.

Here are a few of the incredible stories you have helped to power this month. 

Victories

Saving May

This month 60,000 people came together and won a campaign to help save 23 year old leukaemia sufferer, May Brown’s life.

When May found out she had leukaemia she was devastated. Doctors said a stem cell transplant could save her life, but the only person with a perfect tissue match was her sister - who lives in Nigeria. When the Home Office refused her sister a visa, her only chance of survival was cute off.

A petition took off calling for May’s sister to be allowed to come to the UK temporarily for the transplant.

Within days ITV, Daily Mail, BBC and Guardian had featured the campaign. Then, on Thursday night, May found out that the Home Office changed their decision and granted the visa.

When May heard that she would get this lifeline, she said;

"I am overjoyed for the u-turn the Home Office has taken regarding my sister Martha's visa application. I would like to thank every single person who supported my petition! Your support is what has kept me positive."

May has a long road to recovery ahead but is overjoyed that the so many people helped to give her a fighting chance. You can read more about her story here.

Bringing Rachael Home

After 2 years of battling with NHS executives, Mum and daughter Rachael have been reunited with the help of their Change.org campaign.

When Rachael Palin turned 13 she developed severe depression and has been suffering ever since. When, a year later she was moved to a specialist unit 153 miles away from home, her mum, Tara, didn't know what to do.

Feeling like no one was listening and running out of options, Tara logged onto Change.org and started a petition to get her daughter care closer to home. In days she managed to get thousands of signers, and discovered that there were hundreds of supportive people out there with stories just like hers.

With the support of over 200,000 signers Tara's campaign made national headlines, and she won meetings with politicians and NHS executives.

Now, after a nearly 2 year long campaign Rachael is finally moving home and being reunited with her mum.

To the people who signed Mum Tara said;

"I can't thank everyone who supported me and sent me messages enough. They have kept me going over the past two years. Everyone has been amazing."

 More on their story here.

Power in Parliament 

In the UK this month hundreds of other petitions have been making the headlines, and getting headway in Parliament.

A moment for Miriam.jpg

This month the Briddon family ramped up their campaign for tougher drink driving laws. Daughter and sister, Miriam Briddon was killed by a drunk driver. Her killer only received a 5 year prison sentence, of which he will serve 2 and a half years. This month the BBC and ITV news covered the families fight. They think their campaign is close to winning and want you to add your support here. 

Mum of 2, Catriona, headed to Westminster this month accompanied by dozens of supportive parents and their children. She has been campaigning to extend maternity leave for mums of premature babies. Check out her account of the day here. Since her petition delivery the Minister responsible, Margot James, has agreed to sit down with Catriona for a meeting. You can get behind her campaign here.

And the campaign for a Helen’s Law got a first reading in Parliament and is on it's way to becoming legislation. Marie's daughter Helen was murdered thirty years ago and her killer still won’t reveal the location of her body, so now she is campaigning for a law that will make killers disclose where they have hidden a victim’s body. This month the law was read in Parliament and won support from MPs.  This latest development in her campaign was featured across the evening news, watch some of the coverage here.

 

 Your support is helping up to keep the platform running and offer support to people fighting to transform their worlds. So, thank you for helping make all these change happen!

From the Change.org UK Team

3 times your signature made the impossible possible

A signature can do incredible things. From reuniting families, raising awareness of the Yazidi genocide and clearing supermarket shelves of eggs from caged hens, people power is making the impossible possible.

We spoke to three people whose lives were transformed by the support of people like you.

Meet Lucy

The teen that took on the UK’s biggest supermarkets -- and won.

Animal lover Lucy, 14, is an ordinary teenager whose life changed earlier this year when she started a petition to stop supermarkets selling eggs from caged hens. The campaign went viral, attracting over 200,000 signatures, and before long Lucy’s petition had attracted celebrity support, sparked action on social media and persuaded executives at Tesco to meet her. Within months, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons announced they were phasing out eggs from caged hens.

A year ago people told Lucy that stamping out caged eggs from supermarket shelves couldn’t be done, but with the support of people like you, the impossible has been made possible.

Lucy is going to keep campaigning to make sure all eggs in the UK are cage-free. Her dream is to get a job as an animal rights campaigner when she finishes school.

She says: “It’s hard to imagine that nine months ago I was just doing normal 14 year old things- hanging out with my friends and my pets. Thanks to my signers my life is completely different.”

Meet Phil

The inspiring dad who wouldn’t take no for an answer

When Phil’s son Josh was moved to an autism facility 260 miles away instead of being given care locally, Phil did everything in his power to bring Josh home. For a year no one listened. So, at his wits’ end, Phil started a Change.org petition, attracted 250,000 signatures and convinced Cornwall Council to provide care for autism so that  Josh could be close to his family.

Phil said, “the petition was the thing. We went for 18 months with no one listening but the petition opened eyes and ears from people at the top that hadn’t been hearing us. I wasn’t a fan of petitions before but it changed everything. It gave Josh a voice”

“It means the world to have Josh home. Everyone who sees him now says that the sparkle is back in his eye and I always say it's the people that signed his petition that put it there." 

Since winning his petition Phil has become an ambassador for autism charity, Anna Kennedy Online, and has built up a community of parents who are using petitions and the media to bring their children home too.

Public support brought Josh home when nothing else could, and now Phil’s inspired other families to use petitions to speak out for their children too.

Meet Rozin

The Yazidi student campaigning for her community

British Yazidi teen Rozin Hajool is no ordinary 18 year old. For a year and a half she has been campaigning on behalf of the Yazidi women and girls sexually assaulted at the hands of ISIS.

Before she started her petition these voices were rarely heard in the UK media - but your signatures helped tell the Yazidi people’s story in Britain.

Now she has teamed up with fellow Yazidi Nadia Murad (recently nominated for the Nobel Peace prize) and is keeping her campaign on the agenda of the international community.

“Progress is being made” Rozin says. "I think about everyone who has signed my petition. They're my strength and without every signature I would have given up. 229,000 people believe in me, and that helps me believe in myself".

The signatures on Rozin’s petition form part of a campaign which grew from nothing. Every signature has helped to spread the story of Yazidi women and girls, and given this remarkable 18 year old the power to carry on.

It’s has changed me as a person, doing campaigning”, she says. “The signers and the people I have met have been so inspirational. They have convinced me I have to do campaigning for the rest of my life. There’s no question about it - it’s what I want to do.”

 

5 things that happened on Change.org this week

Every week we see petitions signed by people like you making a lasting impact. In case you missed it, here are 5 things that happened on Change.org this week.

1. Thomas Cook: Stop “Dolphin Experience Trips”
Katie Bashford has over 70,000 signatures this week on her petition for Thomas Cook to stop the promotion of “dolphin experience trips.”  

Katie says dolphin experiences seem harmless and fun but are actually cruel and inhumane, claiming dolphins are being stolen from their natural homes to meet demand and are being kept in confined spaces which have a significant impact on dolphins’ physical and mental wellbeing. “A life in a tank is no life at all” says Katie. If you agree, sign her petition here.

2. Mum gets school to embrace braids
“Through our united voice we changed something that will perhaps make a difference to many students lives and encourage our youngsters to embrace and celebrate their cultures in a positive way”.

This is the victory message from mum Leanne Sullivan  who won her campaign to change Fulston Manor’s school uniform policy. After her daughter Chyna was told that her braiding was “extreme” and prohibited, she argued that the policy conflicted with the school's Equality and Diversity Policy and that braid extension hair styles reflect cultural backgrounds for mixed-race and black students.

Her attracted petition with 32,000 supporters leading to governors at the school agreeing to remove the problematic wording.

3. “Everyday is like a Paralympic event”
William Pike - who was injured in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks - claims everyday activities can be a Paralympic event simply because of lack of thought or investment in disabled access. Now, 44,000 are backing his campaign for American Apparel and Cafe Nero to provide access to their outlets for wheelchair users. William is also sending the petition to the Equality and Human Rights Commission asking them to pursue the issue with these companies.

Watch the campaign video below and read the petition here.

4. Prime Minister announces commitment to ‘Alan Turing Law’
This week Theresa May’s government announced that it is committed to introducing an ‘Alan Turing law’ and will, in due course, pardon thousands of gay men convicted under historic gross indecency crimes.

This is part of an ongoing campaign by Matthew Breen launched two years ago signed by over half a million people. Will you help 49,000 get an apology too?

5. Concentrix contracts stopped by HMRC

Concentrix, the US firm accused of unjustly withdrawing tax credits from hundreds of claimants, will not have its contract renewed in 2017 as a result of Kelly Faulds' petition.

During her campaign Kelly made the case for hundreds of distressed families across the UK for whom the tax credits of £200 per month were a lifeline for living costs. Five thousand signed her petition to drive the change here.

 

 

HEALTH: Schoolboy receives letter from Scotland’s First Minister telling him he will receive life-prolonging drug he’s been campaigning for

Nine-year-old Michael Young who has muscular dystrophy has been fighting for a drug that’s unavailable in Scotland where he lives.

The drug, Translarna helps him to walk and lead a normal life relatively pain-free. He started a petition calling for the drug for him and some of his mates who also need it.

The young campaigner bagged a meeting with Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon in June where he handed over his petition - which had 153,000 signatures - and she told him she would look into his issue.

Victory! Michael received a personal letter from the First Minister telling him he would receive the drug Translarna

Victory! Michael received a personal letter from the First Minister telling him he would receive the drug Translarna

He has now received a “surprise letter” from First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon that the drug has been approved for him and other sufferers of the same condition.

He told Change.org: “I am probably the happiest boy in the whole world right now. I got a surprise letter from the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

"She has told me that I will get my medicine, Translarna, from my NHS Health Board. This is amazing news. It also means that other boys with Duchenne in Scotland should also get the medicine.

Private meeting: Michael met with Nicola Sturgeon in June to ask for her support

Private meeting: Michael met with Nicola Sturgeon in June to ask for her support

"It is so important, because it will help me stay walking for longer and means I can play with my friends.

"The petition has worked. I’m grateful to every person who signed it. I loved reading everyone's comments and it helped me stay strong.”

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here

CULTURE: London Mayor responds to petition to save iconic Fabric saying he will hire 'Night Czar' to protect club spots

East London fixture, Fabric, which opened in 1999, had its licence withdrawn for 28 days by Islington Council following two drug-related deaths of 18-year-old men at Fabric within nine weeks of each other.

Fabric: More than 90,0000 people have signed a petition calling for the club to reopen

Fabric: More than 90,0000 people have signed a petition calling for the club to reopen

One of the club’s promoters Jacob Husley who said: “Closing a club such as Fabric would be an incredibly short-sighted response to a complex problem”, started a petition to save it signed by over 93,000 people.

Now, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan who said London’s clubs are an “essential part of our cultural landscape”, responded via Change.org in a message that was received by all of Jacob’s signers.

His written response also stated: “As part of our wider plan to support the night time economy, I will appoint a Night Czar to lead this work by bringing together key stakeholders including club and venue owners, planning and licensing authorities, the Metropolitan Police and members of the public.

Iconic: Sadiq Khan says London’s clubs are an “essential part of our cultural landscape"

Iconic: Sadiq Khan says London’s clubs are an “essential part of our cultural landscape"

"My team have spoken to all involved in the current situation and I am urging them to find a common sense solution that ensures the club remains open while protecting the safety of those who want to enjoy London’s clubbing scene"

To read the statement in full go to the petition page here.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here

EXCLUSIVE: Families of drink-drive victims launch petitions calling for change in law

Families who lost loved ones at the hands of drink-drivers have joined together to campaign for tougher sentences for motorists that kill. Lorraine, who lost her husband Bob, and Ceinwen whose daughter Miriam was killed, spoke to Change.org’s Nadia Gilani about why “every signature matters” in their bid to change the law.

Biker: The other driver in the collision that saw Bob die was twice over the legal alcohol limit

Biker: The other driver in the collision that saw Bob die was twice over the legal alcohol limit

Lorraine Allaway’s husband Bob was killed in October last year while riding his motorbike. When given a roadside breath test, the other driver was two times over the legal alcohol limit.

Bob was 46 when he died leaving behind his wife, five children and seven grandchildren. The couple were married for a decade.

After Bob’s death, Lorraine who lives in Skipton, vowed to campaign so no one else should have to go through the same experience. Over 100,000 people have signed her petition calling for tougher sentences in drink-drive cases and she says it’s this strength of public feeling that inspires her to continue.

Torn apart: Lorraine who had been married to Bob for a decade has vowed to campaign in his memory 

Torn apart: Lorraine who had been married to Bob for a decade has vowed to campaign in his memory 

She said: “It’s fantastic - so amazing how quickly we got so many signatures - I didn’t think we would get this far this quickly. People have contacted me asking what they can do and I say, ‘if you’re signing and sharing the petition, you’re helping’.

“I go through the comments people leave regularly and there are so many who have been through the same. They want me to fight for this on their behalf. I feel a strong sense of duty - for Bob - and for them, to make sure no one else suffers the same”.

We’ve been overwhelmed with the support and are grateful to everyone who has taken the time to sit down, read our story and sign the petition

Alongside Lorraine, Ceinwen who has also started a petition on the same issue in memory of her daughter Miriam who was also killed by a driver who had been drinking.

She was 21 at the time and her killer was found guilty and sentenced to five and a half years and banned from driving for five years. But he will will only serve two and a half years in jail and is due for release next year.

Happier times: From left to right, Megan, Richard, Ceinwen, Lowri, Katie-Ann and Miriam

Happier times: From left to right, Megan, Richard, Ceinwen, Lowri, Katie-Ann and Miriam


She said: “I knew I needed to do something. We can’t do anything for Miriam but we can try and make a difference to others. I feel like the justice system isn’t on the side of victims and that’s what we want to see change.

It’s fantastic - so amazing how quickly we got so many signatures - I didn’t think we would get this far this quickly

“We’ve been overwhelmed with the support and are grateful to everyone who has taken the time to sit down, read our story and sign the petition. Such positivity behind us really gives us comfort and reassurance we’re doing the right thing.

“My husband I can’t believe how many families have lost loved ones in drink driving incidents. Our story is very common and that’s what’s heartbreaking and motivates us to continue”.

Strike a pose: Miriam with Ceinwen, Richard and all of her sisters in a studio photoshoot

Strike a pose: Miriam with Ceinwen, Richard and all of her sisters in a studio photoshoot

Ceinwen lives in Ceredigion, Wales with husband Richard and their three daughters Katie-Ann, 27, Lowri, 21 and Megan, 23, who was Miriam’s twin.

It’s too late for Ceinwen and Lorraine to fight for longer sentences for convicted drunk drivers but if successful in their campaigns, their hope is that tougher sentences will stop drivers getting behind the wheel after a few drinks so that future families don’t suffer as they have.

NEWS: 5 things that happened on Change.org this week

1. Mo Farah for a Knighthood

44,000 signed Charlie Lennox’s petition saying Olympian Mo Farah should receive a Knighthood.

The 33-year-old British long-distance runner bagged his latest two gold medals at Rio 2016 for the 10,000 metres and 5,000m men’s races.

Team_GB’s_Mo_Farah_expects_to_miss_out_on_Sports_Personality_of_the_Year___Sport___The_Guardian.png

Seconds after Farah’s win in the 5,000m on Sunday (August 21), BBC commentator Brendan Foster, who won bronze in the 10,000m at the 1976 Montreal Games, said: ‘You’ve got to think about what he’s done – I think one of the greatest distance runners the world’s ever seen. Arise Sir Mo.’

Charlie took Foster’s comment to heart and you can read more about his campaign here.

2. Big names back Fabric nightclub campaign

East London fixture, Fabric, which opened in 1999, had its licence withdrawn for 28 days by Islington Council following two drug-related deaths of 18-year-old men at Fabric within nine weeks of each other.

The club’s promoter Jacob Husley who said: “Closing a club such as Fabric would be an incredibly short-sighted response to a complex problem”, started a petition to save it signed by over 70,000 people.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also said he would work with with the council and police to ensure a safe environment for clubbers.

3. Lifeguards for Camber Sands

Over 7,000 people signed Josie’s petition for lifeguards on Camber Sands during the summer months when she claims there are only beach patrols.

Her petition was started on July 24 - one month before five men died in the sea at Camber Sands on Wednesday (August 24). Three of the five men were pulled from the water on Wednesday afternoon, while two more bodies were found later, the BBC reported.

Writing on her Change.org petition Josie said: “Camber sands gets unbelievably busy during summer time they have beach patrol but no lifeguards.

“After the serious incident that has recently happened this should be a good reason to have lifeguards like they do in Bournemouth, due to the amount of people that go to the beach and I feel it could save lives”.

4. Victory for #FreePat campaign

Ex SAS para Pat Patterson walked free after 161,000 signed a petition started by The Sun’s defence editor.

Pat was jailed for keeping a war trophy pistol seized during the Falklands War. His family took their petition to Downing Street in April and earlier this week the 65-year-old walked through the prison gates into his daughter’s arms.

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Within minutes of his release Pat, who was joined ex-wife Debs, 55, toasted his freedom with a pint of Guinness in a nearby pub, declaring: “You don’t know how long I have waited for this.”

5. Couple hit out at help to buy ISA scheme

It turns out that a hidden clause in the small print of the government’s flagship policy designed to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder, prevents savers from using the scheme for their initial deposit.

Stuart Melvin and his fiance opened an ISA before they knew this. Now he’s campaigning for the scheme to be amended.

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Writing on his petition he says: “we have all been conned. The Government have gone back on their word, and now say the scheme cannot be used for a deposit! The banks seem stunned and the rest of us are reeling.

"This is outrageous and must be reversed. I am calling on the Chancellor Philip Hammond MP to reverse this decision and do the right thing for the 500,000 people who have been misled”.

NEWS: 5 ways women are winning on Change.org from FGM to No More Page Three

In the US, August 26 marks Women’s Equality Day which commemorates the date in 1920 when votes to women officially became part of the constitution. To celebrate the day, we've pulled together some of the biggest campaigns run by women who are using Change.org to start petitions on issues that matter to them in their own fight for equality here in the UK.

1. #Endtampontax
More than 320,000 signed Laura Coryton’s petition and two-year campaign that saw former Chancellor George Osborne eventually agree to axe the tax on women’s sanitary products earlier this year.

Axe the tax: Laura Coryton delivering her petition to former Chancellor George Osborne who eventually agreed to scrap the tax

Axe the tax: Laura Coryton delivering her petition to former Chancellor George Osborne who eventually agreed to scrap the tax

Her campaign inspired dozens of sister campaigns across Europe and in the US, which sparked off a global movement.

2. Women on banknotes
When the Bank of England said that 19th-century prison reformer Elizabeth Fry would be replaced on £5 notes by Winston Churchill, leaving no women on banknotes, Caroline Criado-Perez knew she had to do something.

Persuasion: Caroline convinced the Bank of England to keep a woman on banknotes

Persuasion: Caroline convinced the Bank of England to keep a woman on banknotes

She launched her petition in 2013, and 36,000 signatures later the Bank backed down and said that author Jane Austin would feature on the new £20 note from 2017.

Not only that, last year the Bank ran a public consultation - for the first time ever - inspired by the campaign, calling on the public to nominate an historic British artist to appear on a future note. In April this year it was announced that J M Turner will appear on the £20 note.

3. No More Page Three
In 2012, Lucy-Anne Holmes wrote a letter to the then editor of The Sun, requesting the newspaper reconsider including Page 3, detailing some of the reasons why objectifying women in a newspaper was “simply not sensible”.

No more! Lucy Anne-Holmes took on the biggest and best-selling newspaper in the UK and won

No more! Lucy Anne-Holmes took on the biggest and best-selling newspaper in the UK and won

Receiving no answer, she started a petition – and, 245000 signatures, publicity stunts and stacks of media coverage, finally got her reply.  

The newspaper dropped pictures of topless women in January 2015 - without any big fanfare, though Lucy’s supporters the world over are in no doubt that such an historic decision was taken down to her campaign.

4. Teach FGM in Schools
When Fahma discovered that female genital mutilation had affected young girls she knew at school, the then 17-year-old decided teachers should be made more aware of it.

Education: Fahma won her campaign to raise awareness of FGM in schools

Education: Fahma won her campaign to raise awareness of FGM in schools

She and the 234,000 signers of her petition convinced former Education Secretary Michael Gove to write to all schools about the risks of FGM so that they would be aware of any girls at risk in their schools.

5.    50:50 Parliament
Frances Scott’s not happy about the gender imbalance of men and women running politics in the UK and set out to do something about it.

Equal seats: Frances wants to see more women MPs representing the British public in the Commons

Equal seats: Frances wants to see more women MPs representing the British public in the Commons

Her petition is still going strong with 50,000 signatures, but continues returning to the media spotlight and she says she won’t back down until there is a better representation of women in the House of Commons.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here

NEWS: 5,000 sign petition for lifeguards on Camber Sands beach as five men die in the sea

Petition starter Josie Holloway is calling for lifeguards on Camber Sands during the summer months when she claims there are only beach patrols.

Her petition was started on July 24 - one month before five men died in the sea at Camber Sands on the hottest day of the year - yesterday (August 24).

Three of the men were pulled from the water on Wednesday afternoon, while two more bodies were found later, the BBC reported.

Tragic: 5,000 are calling for lifeguards on Camber Sands beach during summer months

Tragic: 5,000 are calling for lifeguards on Camber Sands beach during summer months

Writing on her Change.org petition Josie said: “Camber sands gets unbelievably busy during summer time they have beach patrol but no lifeguards.

“After the serious incident that has recently happened this should be a good reason to have lifeguards like they do in Bournemouth, due to the amount of people that go to the beach and I feel it could save lives”.

Chief Superintendent Di Roskilly of Sussex Police said: "We believe we now know who the men are and that they came to the beach together for the day.

"We believe they are all in their late teens and early 20s and come from the Greater London area.

Emergency: Police said the men were believed to be in their 20s and from the Greater London area

Emergency: Police said the men were believed to be in their 20s and from the Greater London area

"These men were not fully clothed when they were pulled from the sea but wearing clothes appropriate for being at the beach for the day.

"We have no further reports of anyone else missing from Camber and there are no ongoing searches related to this incident.

"This has been an incredibly tragic incident and we are offering their next of kin support at this difficult time."

For more information about this petition click here or email press.uk@change.org

SPORT: Petition launched for Mo Farah to receive knighthood

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah should be knighted for his achievements, a Change.org petition says.

The 33-year-old British long-distance runner bagged his latest two gold medals at Rio 2016 for the 10,000 metres and 5,000m men’s races.

Seconds after Farah’s win in the 5,000m on Sunday (August 21), BBC commentator Brendan Foster, who won bronze in the 10,000m at the 1976 Montreal Games, said: ‘You’ve got to think about what he’s done – I think one of the greatest distance runners the world’s ever seen. Arise Sir Mo.’

Double win: Mo Farah took two gold medals at this the Olympics in Rio this year

Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: ‘Sir Mo!’ and ‘Wow! Just Wow! Rio is Mo Town. Mo Farah is surely the greatest long-distance runner of all time.’

And Archbishop of York John Sentamu urged his Twitter followers to spread support for the runner, who won his first two golds at London 2012, posting: ‘Mo Farah U are simply the Best Athlete Team GB has ever seen! Absolutely FANTABULOUS & Awesome! SIR MO’.

Baroness Benjamin, the former Play School presenter who is now a Liberal Democrat peer, tweeted: ‘You deserve to be Sir Mo as an inspiration to young kids who need hope.’

Writing on his petition, Charlie Lennox said: “I am calling for Mo Farah to receive a knighthood for his outstanding achievements in athletics.

In becoming the first British athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, Mo Farah has become one of the greatest British sporting heroes of all time.  He truly deserves to be knighted.

I agree with Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat leader, when he says it's about time we restored some faith in the honours system after recent accusations of cronyism.  What better way of doing this than recognising the achievements of this amazing long-distance runner?”

For more information about this petition click here or email press.uk@change.org.

NOTES
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here

ANIMALS: Thousands sign after charity gives couple’s missing cat to another family - and refuses to give it back

When a couple discovered their missing moggie had been found - they were delighted he would soon be home.

But when they telephoned the RSPCA they were told that he had already been re-homed - despite the fact that he had a microchip which means he could have been traced back to his owners.

Marine Coucoulis and Nathan Touboul, both 24 are now desperately trying to get their pet Booba back with a Change.org petition which currently has over 3,000 signatures.

Separated: Marine Coucoulins is devastated that her cat Booba has been re-homed 

Separated: Marine Coucoulins is devastated that her cat Booba has been re-homed 

It has been reported that the confusion as to ownership arose because Booba was registered in France, through a French animal database.

However, Marine maintains that the RSPCA should have been able to tell from the first few numbers of Booba’s unique 15-digit microchip registration code that this was the case.

She said: “I was so happy when I read the posting saying that my cat had been found close to where I live and that he was safe and well. I had missed him so much.

Homeward bound? Booba was given to new owners by charity the RSPCA despite being microchipped

Homeward bound? Booba was given to new owners by charity the RSPCA despite being microchipped

“But when I asked when I could come and pick Booba up they told me he had already been given to a new family. How could that happen when he was microchipped? It was awful.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: "We saved this cat's life and nursed him back to health and actively searched for an owner by putting up posters, advertising him online and checking his microchip.

"Two databases were checked but we were told there was no registered owner. We are going to look into this further".

For more information about this petition click here or email press.uk@change.org

NEWS: 62,000 petition calling for review of police Taser use handed to Home Office

Jason Jackson delivered his petition calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to hold an urgent review of the use of tasers to the Home Office earlier today (Aug 19).

The father-of-three started his campaign following the tragic death of former Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson on Monday.

Thousands left comments on the petition including personal accounts of being tasered and others with grave concerns on the medical implications of the weapon which is intended to be “non lethal”.

Urgent: Jason's petition calls for a government review of police view of Tasers 

Urgent: Jason's petition calls for a government review of police view of Tasers 

One comment read: “These Tasers are lethal. They must be modified to be non-lethal. If not possible, they should be withdrawn from use.

"Safer methods of restraint must be found. Criteria for the deployment of these weapons and training of those using them must be reviewed and improved immediately.”

A member of the Home Office’s communications team received the petition.

Petition:  Jason said he had been “overwhelmed” by the support and stacks of media attention on his campaign

Petition:  Jason said he had been “overwhelmed” by the support and stacks of media attention on his campaign

Speaking outside the Home Office, Jason said he had been “overwhelmed” by the support and stacks of media attention on his campaign and felt “determined” to continue until the government responds.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here

NEWS: 5 things that happened on change.org this week

1. Police Tasers petition heads to Home Office

Jason Jackson who launched a campaign after the tragic death of Aston Villa striker Dalian Atkinson on Monday (Aug 15) took his petition to the Home Office.

Taser review: Jason Jackson hands in his 62,000 strong petition

Taser review: Jason Jackson hands in his 62,000 strong petition

Over 62,000 people signed the petition in just four days before it was handed over to the government department on Friday (Aug 19).

Speaking outside the Home Office, Jason said he had been “overwhelmed” by the support and stacks of media attention on his campaign and felt “determined” to continue until the government responds.

2. Joint campaigners call for law reform over drink driving sentencing

Lorraine Allaway’s husband Bob was killed in October last year while riding his motorbike. When given a roadside breath test, the other driver was more than twice over the legal alcohol limit.

Bob was 46 when he died and the couple were married for a decade. He left behind wife Lorraine, five children and seven grandchildren.

Justice: Miriam was killed in October 2014 by a driver who had been drinking

Justice: Miriam was killed in October 2014 by a driver who had been drinking

Ceinwen Briddon’s daughter Miriam was killed by a driver who had been drinking. She was 21 at the time. Her killer was found guilty and sentenced to five and a half years and banned from driving for five years. He will only serve two and a half years in jail and will be released next year.

Both Lorraine and Ceinwen are campaigning for a review of sentences for people who kill while driving under the influence. For more information about Lorraine’s petition go to change.org/drinkdriving and Ceinwen’s is at change.org/moment4miriam

3. Birthday cards for Iranian prisoner Kamal Foroughi

After spending almost 2,000 days in an Iranian jail, Kamal Foroughi was promised his release last month.

Jailed: Kamal Foroughi has been held in Iran's notorious Evin prison for over five years

Jailed: Kamal Foroughi has been held in Iran's notorious Evin prison for over five years

But he’s still locked up for a crime his family say he didn’t commit. On August 27 he will have served the longest prison term a European citizen has undertaken in Iran.

On September 3, Kamal will turn 77, and this week his son Kamran who is fighting for his release has this week asked signers of his 216,000 petition to send a birthday card for Kamal to their nearest Iranian Embassy.

4. Call for global effort on Syria conflict

A Syrian doctor wants world leaders to do more about the conflict in Syria.

Dr. Hamza Al Khatib  is one of the last serving doctors to the remaining 300,000 residents of the city of eastern Aleppo.

Help: Dr Hamza Al Khatib has gathered over 150,000 signatures on his petition

Help: Dr Hamza Al Khatib has gathered over 150,000 signatures on his petition


Over 150,000 people have signed his petition calling on President Obama and Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel to speak out on the issue.

Writing on his petition Hamza said: “What pains me and my fellow doctors the most is choosing who will live and who will die. Young children are sometimes brought into our emergency rooms so badly injured that we have to prioritise those with better chances, or simply don’t have the equipment to help them.

“We have seen no real effort from President Obama or Chancellor Merkel to prevent the criminal attacks against civilians and our hospitals. That is why I've started this petition”.

5. Lucy launches third petition to ban caged hen eggs

Animal welfare champion, Lucy Gavahan who took on Tesco, Morrisons and Asda - and won - is now on a mission to see eggs from caged hens banned from the UK.

Banned: Lucy is on a mission to see no more caged hen eggs sold in the UK by 2025

Banned: Lucy is on a mission to see no more caged hen eggs sold in the UK by 2025

Tesco was the first to agree to stop selling caged eggs by 2025 following Lucy's 280,295-strong petition, a meeting with the retailer's bosses and stacks of media coverage. Asda and Morrisons soon followed suit after the 14-year-old’s 185,000 petition calling on them to do the same.

Inspired by her previous victories - Lucy now wants to see an end to caged hen farming by 2025. Check out her petiton at change.org/nomorecages

EXCLUSIVE: Family of British grandfather in Iran’s most notorious prison remain “hopeful” after judiciary U-turns on decision to release him

After spending almost 2,000 days in jail, Kamal Foroughi was promised his release last month. But he’s still locked up for a crime his family say he didn’t commit. August 27 marked his time in jail as the longest prison term a European citizen has undertaken in Iran. His son Kamran, who is urging the authorities to keep their pledge, tells Change.org’s Nadia Gilani how this latest twist in his campaign won’t make him back down, and how every signature adds vital pressure for his father’s release.

On September 3, Kamal Foroughi will turn 77 years old. It will be the sixth consecutive birthday spent in Iran’s notorious Evin prison away from his family in the UK. The prison, covering 43 hectares (106 acres) in the north of Tehran, has thousands of inmates, including many of Iran's political prisoners. Human rights activists have documented systematic abuses there, the BBC has reported.

Separated: Kamal (left) and his son Kamran (right) have been apart for over five years

Separated: Kamal (left) and his son Kamran (right) have been apart for over five years

His son Kamran has asked signers of his 216,000 strong petition to send a birthday card for Kamal to the Iranian embassy in their country -  and demonstrate the determination of the campaign to free him.

Kamran said: “There isn’t a magic solution to help us keep going, but the support from our petition has helped. We asked our supporters to write to their MPs and they did, they’ve posted comments, and written to us. All of that has been very thoughtful and made a huge difference”.

My dad has been promised freedom, and it’s been taken away again. But you have to keep hope alive because they could release him any day. That’s what we as a family are holding on to

Kamal was sentenced in 2013 to a total of seven years imprisonment on spying charges, though it remains unclear what evidence Iran convicted him on. 

Iran’s intelligence often views dual-nationals with suspicion and has arrested a number of them in recent years, including the Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian who was convicted of espionage in a closed-door trial in 2015 and released earlier this year.

Lost time: Kamal has been in jail so long he has missed out on seeing his granddaughters grow up

Lost time: Kamal has been in jail so long he has missed out on seeing his granddaughters grow up

Kamran says his family was filled with “false hope” when their lawyers were told Iran’s Judiciary and Prosecutors’ Office agreed and signed for Kamal’s release. 

He said: “For me the longer this goes on, the less likely something is to happen. I fear the worst, that once again days will turn into weeks and into years.

“It’s very hard for us to read what’s going on. You don’t really know what you’re dealing with. It’s like a black box - you’re in the dark”.

The fact that the UK, France, Germany and Italy are calling for his release is very powerful

Mr Foroughi - who emigrated to Britain with his wife 30 years ago - has been denied visitors or access to appropriate medical care. He was with his wife visiting Iran when he was arrested. 

Kamran said: “Aside from my dad, this is hardest on my step mum. She’s in a horrible position because she’s been separated from the man she loves. She decided to return to the UK thinking it would help. I also haven’t gone out there because there’s nothing to say they wouldn’t detain me too. We’ve heard of cases where that has happened”.

Jailed: Kamal (right) was sentenced in 2013 to a total of seven years’ imprisonment on spying charges, though it remains unclear what evidence Iran convicted him on

Jailed: Kamal (right) was sentenced in 2013 to a total of seven years’ imprisonment on spying charges, though it remains unclear what evidence Iran convicted him on

Kamran who lives in Hertsmere with his wife and two daughters is only allowed the briefest of phone calls with his father - once a week - which last about three minutes. They must also speak in Farsi so prison guards can listen in. 

“They insist the calls are in Farsi and I’m not allowed to ask him about the conditions he’s living in. He’s never complained of them, but it’s not clear it they’re OK or not. His mood oscillates between some weeks sounding hopeful and then despondent," says Kamran.

Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly raised Kamal’s case in a phone call with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani earlier this month, but Kamran isn’t sure how much this will help.

Determined: Kamran is hoping the Iranian authorities make good on their promise to release his dad soon

Determined: Kamran is hoping the Iranian authorities make good on their promise to release his dad soon

He said: “The fact that the UK, France, Germany and Italy are calling for his release is very powerful, but my impression is that the Iranian government can’t officially do anything because it's a matter for the judiciary and Supreme Leader".

“The system in Iran is hard to get your head around. My dad has been promised freedom, and it’s been taken away again. But you have to keep hope alive because they could release him any day. That’s what we as a family are holding on to”.

To sign and share Kamran's petition go to change.org/freekamalforoughi

NEWS: The comments from YOU that have been inspiring Jonathan in his campaign

Jonathan and his mum Chantal have been inspired the response from the change.org community who have written personal messages to him after reading an exclusive interview with Change.org.

Jonathan said: "Thank you for continuing to support my campaign.  Your words of encouragement are appreciated by both me and my family".

We've picked some of his favourites below. If you would like to leave a comment for Jonathan on his petition, go to change.org/teachustoo.

CRIME: Over 37,000 sign petition for urgent review of police Taser use after death of Aston Villa striker Dalian Atkinson

Former footballer Dalian Atkinson died after being shot with a Taser by police at his father's house yesterday (August 15).

The reasons why he was Tasered remain unclear.

Police said the weapon was deployed at around 1.30am in Telford, Shropshire after officers were called to a report of “concern for a man's safety”.

37119DC700000578-3741176-The_48_year_old_man_who_died_after_being_Tasered_by_police_has_b-a-77_1471261365275.jpg

Mr Atkinson went into cardiac arrest on his way to hospital, where he was pronounced dead 90 minutes later.

Dad of three, Jason Jackson, has started a petition on Change.org calling on Prime Minister Theresa May to establish a review of police use of Tasers. At the time of writing over 37,000 had signed it.

Writing on his petition, Jason says: “As a black man, a father of three growing boys and a campaigner against the abuse of power by police officers, I was appalled and frightened to hear this news. If this can happen to a former Premiership footballer, then it could happen to me or my children.

aston-villa-football-dalian-atkinson-ron-atkinson-league-cup_3765285.jpg

"Atkinson’s death is the eleventh linked to the use of Tasers by the police in this country. What is more worrying is that black people are three times more likely have a taser used against them by police than white people, according to figures by the Home Office”.

“This incident has called into question the training and understanding on the use of Tasers within our police force and the fatal consequences of institutional racism. Police forces should be upholding the law and protecting people, not causing their deaths”.

Police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into Mr Atkinson’s death.

For more information about this petition go to change.org/policetasers or email press.uk@change.org.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here

ANIMALS: Teenager who won over Tesco, Asda and Morrisons launches campaign to see all eggs go free range

Animal welfare champion, Lucy Gavahan who took on Tesco, Morrisons and Asda - and won - is now on a mission to see eggs from caged hens banned from the UK.

Tesco was the first to agree to stop selling caged eggs by 2025 following Lucy's 280,295-strong petition, a meeting with the retailer's bosses and stacks of media coverage.

Asda and Morrisons soon followed suit after the 14-year-old’s 185,000 petition calling on them to do the same.

Hat-trick: Lucy who has convinced Tesco, Asda and Morrisons wants to see caged farming banned

Hat-trick: Lucy who has convinced Tesco, Asda and Morrisons wants to see caged farming banned

Inspired by her own victories - Lucy wants to see an end to caged hen farming by 2025.

Writing on her third change.org petition Lucy says: “Although 2025 will be the year all the biggest UK supermarkets stop selling caged hens eggs, it is likely caged hen farming will continue on a smaller scale. This is why the farming method has to be made illegal, in order to ensure that the welfare of laying hens is improved on the greatest scale possible.

Free-range: All major supermarkets will sell eggs from non caged eggs by 2025 thanks to Lucy's campaigning  

Free-range: All major supermarkets will sell eggs from non caged eggs by 2025 thanks to Lucy's campaigning  

"So many people actively avoid caged hens eggs, and would appreciate knowing that even when they are buying products that contain eggs in their ingredients, they will be of free range origin. This can only be achieved if caged hen farming, and the sale of caged hens’ eggs is banned in the UK.

"Hens have spent enough time being treated like egg laying machines. We cannot ignore the way they are being treated, we have to stand up to the injustice and treat them with the level of care that is long overdue".

Shoppers won’t sell caged hen eggs leave the shelves immediately but all supermarkets have promised to stop selling them by 2025 and will only stock barn, free-range and organic eggs by that date.

Competitors Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer do not sell caged eggs and discounter Aldi also made a pledge in May to stop by 2025.

For more information about this petition go to change.org/nomorecages or email press.uk@change.org.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here

CRIME: Ban on ‘Zombie knives’ knives come into force this week

A ban on the sale of "zombie knives" is set to come into force in England and Wales on Thursday (August 18).

Inspired by horror films, the curved blades with serrated edges are often sold as collector's items, but police say they are increasingly being carried by criminals.

The blades, which can be up to 2ft long with a serrated edge and carry images or words that glamorise violence, can be purchased online for as little as £10.

Banned: A police officer holds two types of "zombie knives" which are now illegal to sell

Banned: A police officer holds two types of "zombie knives" which are now illegal to sell

A government crackdown on the lethal weapons comes in the form of an amendment to the Criminal Justice Act 1988 prohibiting the sale, manufacture, rental or importation of the blades.

Those caught making or selling the items will now face up to four years in prison.

In February, Gulsen Alkan started a petition on Change.org signed by over 54,000 people. She is calling for a review on how knives are displayed in shops after her husband Justin was killed after being stabbed apparently at random by someone while he was in Poundland buying balloons for their children.

Writing on her petition, Gulsen said: “Some shops lock knives in cases but many do not. I think all shops should put knives in locked cases behind the counter, or in secure packaging, so they cannot easily be taken and used.”

Theresa May, when she was Home Secretary announced that retailers, Tesco, Lidl UK, Amazon UK, Wilko, Argos, Morrisons, Asda, Poundland, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis and Waitrose would ensure knives are packaged securely, staff are trained on approving knife sales and apply age verification procedures before sales.

Killed: Justin was stabbed while in Poundland by a knife that was on display for sale

Killed: Justin was stabbed while in Poundland by a knife that was on display for sale

Safeguarding minister Sarah Newton said: "This government will act wherever necessary to cut crime and keep our communities safe.

"Zombie killer knives glamorise violence and cause devastating damage - they have no place whatsoever in our society."

Alf Hitchcock, lead on knife crime at the National Police Chiefs' Council, said: "Zombie knives are absolutely horrific weapons.

"Forces are determined to reduce the harm caused by these and all other dangerous weapons."

For more information about this petition click here or email press.uk@change.org.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here