Sixth formers challenge parliamentary candidates to convince them to vote

More than 100 Nottingham sixth formers will be be gathering for a first time voters lunch where they will ask Rushcliffe parliamentary candidates why they should bother to vote.

Parliamentary candidates Ken Clarke and David Mellen, will be faced with the challenge of convincing the young students why voting should matter.

The event will be a lunch with a difference and is being held at the Nottingham Emmanuel School.

Students attending the event will be asking their MPs for reasons why they should vote and will also have the chance to present key issues young people are currently facing to their community leaders.

Sixth former, Niamh Shewell Cooper, who will be chairing the event, said: “This action is really important to us, the decisions politicians make have a real impact on our lives.

“We know this and we care about issues but Westminster politics can feel a long way away from here – that’s why we’re involved with Nottingham Citizens, we want politicians to come to us, answer to our issues and share why they think we as young people should vote on polling day.”

The lunch event has been organised by the Emmanuel School and Churches Together in West Bridgford in conjunction with Nottingham Citizens in an effort to encourage young people to vote for the first time.

Taken ownership

Andy Wolfe, vice principal of the Emmanuel School, said: “This event has been great for our young people taking real leadership – they have taken real ownership of the script, the agenda and what they want from the politicians and have been building strong links with the wider community
“As a school we know that there are so many issues that matter to young people and we’re delighted that local MP Ken Clarke and other candidates will be joining us to hear what these are and to respond with how they can make difference”
St. Pauls Church has also been involved in partnering with the school to support the next generation of voters.
The church’s vicar, Chris Hodder, said: “We know that engaging in politics is vital if we are to bring about lasting change and social justice.
“Although Rushcliffe is a relatively safe seat we know nationally this election is extremely close and we want to make sure we are supporting the next generation to know that their vote really does count and they can make a real difference.”
Those involved in the event hope it helps to abolish the idea that young people don’t care about politics.
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