This is it. After 10 years of working directly in the field of youth engagement and active citizenship this is our last election. If you’re coming here for the first time, welcome! And if you’re returning to see what is going on then here’s a little update.
As many will be aware the charitable space is not best suited for a Social Enterprise keen to engage people in politics and citizenship. In fact the post Brexit scenario made it a nightmare to get any funding at all to remain neutral and create safe spaces for discussion and debate.
I’m sure you’ll agree it’s not the role of a small charity to ensure young people across the UK are educated, engaged and inspired to play a positive part in our society. Especially when there are government ministers with budgets and teams who have a remit to do so. Yes, we have not been shy at calling these people out - that’s the role of citizens, isn't it? To hold those in positions of power and authority to account.
It is difficult to prevent the media spinning our calls for government, civil servants and all political parties to do more to ensure they are representing everyone, ensuring young people are engaged at the earliest point in their life and understand how to play an active role. It's not us blaming the Government or anyone else for that matter - we don’t care about ideologies - we just want remits to be delivered. Parliament’s mission statement is to engage people in democracy - and that should be measured directly against the amount of people participating, including registration levels.
Politics requires diversity in many, many forms - but one we believe to be essential is diversity in the way people think and in their life experience. Introducing those who have these attributes to the political eco-system will positively disrupt it and drive progress. We always hope that any progress for society has people and the planet in mind, love and empathy… yes! Love and empathy.
This is it. One last time!
So, if you have people in your life who are not engaged and bored by the whole political circus - see if you can inspire them to #TurnUp, rise above the petty arguments and play a role in building the communities, wider society and planet they want to be part of.
1. What happens to my data?
All data is anonymous first and foremost our goal is to collate all our data and share it with those who are fortunate enough to be in positions of power. This could be Members of Parliament through to those who are working on the climate change conference next year in Glasgow. We believe a voice is missing from these discussions and we want to show that play can be a catalyst for engagement.
2. Is this political?
Well, everything is political but that's a whole other discussion. This is a politically neutral campaign, its efforts are to increase engagement with those who are not climbing on trains or yapping away in their students' union. This isn’t designed to ensure people vote for anything in particular, it's an experiment to see if you can increase engagement by allowing people to see how they compare to others, sparking the confidence needed to become an active citizen.
3. Who is funding this?
The Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) - who have a specific interest in understanding what the under 30’s think about the environment and to increase levels of voter registration in areas of under representation.
The National Education Union (NEU) - are supporting the creation of education resources and distributing to their network of teachers.
Thanks for your interest in Bite the Ballot. We welcome your thoughts and comments – and would love for you to share your stories.
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