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Clayhall student co-founds charity to amplify working class voices

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 10:07 06 March 2018

(L-to-R) Chris Fairlery, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting and Mahatir Pasha. Photo: Britain has Class

(L-to-R) Chris Fairlery, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting and Mahatir Pasha. Photo: Britain has Class

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A Clayhall resident has co-founded a new charity aiming to increase the representation of working class voices in organisations across the country - starting with a launch event in Parliament.

Photo: Britain has ClassPhoto: Britain has Class

Around 70 people - including students, politicians academics, actors and film directors - attended the launch of charity Britain has Class (BHC) on Wednesday (February 28).

Among the guest speakers was Ilford North MP Wes Streeting, who shared his experiences growing up in a working class household in Tower Hamlets.

University student Mahatir Pasha, who lives in Naseby Road, Clayhall, set up the charity with three of his fellow students Chris Fairley, Ronda Daniels and Jess Elms at the London School of Economics.

“We believe that class is used for political advantage and that the working class are being mobilised for political agendas,” said the 21-year-old.

(L-to-R) Chris Fairlery, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting and Mahatir Pasha. Photo: Britain has Class(L-to-R) Chris Fairlery, Ilford North MP Wes Streeting and Mahatir Pasha. Photo: Britain has Class

“What we want is to change is the way class is perceived.”

The charity argue that the conversation around class and inequality is “overflowing with insincerity,” according to their website.

Universities, they say, create entire departments in the name of studying inequality, but “shut out and alienate working class students.”

The students formed the charity following a successful campaign to introduce a Social Mobility and Class Officer at their university.

The aim of this role is to provide support and advice for students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and on class issues.

Mahatir added: “After the successful campaign at LSE, a number of other students’ Unions got into contact asking how they could do the same.”

The charity aim to take the conversation around the working class into their own hands by campaigning for greater representation in universities, unions and workplaces and creating a network of class activists.

They plan to do this will by hosting events, blogging and undertaking research projects.

Epidemic of Silence, the first research project, looks at how cultural, financial and political pressures combine to make working class men the most at-risk group for committing suicide.

The charity next big event, The Great British Class Conference, will be held at LSE, in Holborn, on March 24.

Find out more at: https://britainhasclass.org/

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