G4S And The National Discrimination Helpline

Last week over 80,000 of us stood up to G4S.

They’d recently been given the contract to run a helpline for people who suffered discrimination because of their race, age or disability.

A judge was due to decide if a legal challenge against G4S could go ahead. So 38 Degrees members leapt into action and delivered a petition that called for G4S to be stripped of the contract before they’d had a chance to take over control of the helpline.


On Friday afternoon, there was bad news. The judge ruled that the legal challenge couldn’t go any further. And this gave G4S the green light to take over the discrimination helpline immediately.


Whilst the judge did recognise the serious public concerns about G4S,she didn’t accept there was a legal case for blocking the decision.

It’s disappointing when we lose like this. But we can still be proud that we stood up for what was right. We tried as hard as we could. We’ve showed G4S – and the government – that we’re watching them. And you can be assured that we will hold them to account if the helpline starts going downhill now G4S are running it.

When things don’t go our way, it’s important to remember why we’re involved. Every one of us wants to make the UK a fairer, healthier, better place to live. 


38 Degrees gets its name from the angle at which snowflakes come together to cause an avalanche. It shows the power that each of us has when we work together as a movement of people. We know that each of our individual efforts can add up to a big difference.

We didn’t succeed this time in stopping G4S. But we have succeeded in stopping privatisation plans on many other occasions. Only a few weeks ago, for example, we stopped the privatisation of the Land Registry – after a big petition and a headline-grabbing investigation funded by donations from thousands of 38 Degrees members.