Citizens UK, the national community organising charity, is pleased to announce that it has received a grant of £50,000 from the Cabinet Office to encourage more people to register to vote, with a particular focus on those groups who are under-represented on the electoral register, including students, other young people, and people from black and minority ethnic groups.
Neil Jameson, director, Citizens UK said:
“We work with over 400 civic institutions across the UK including mosques, synagogues and churches. What unites our members is the belief that it is a privilege and a responsibility to be an active citizen, and that the vote is the starting point of a healthy democracy.
“Today, on National Voter Registration Day, we have teams of community organisers and leaders engaging young people, explaining why voting is so important and helping them to understand the democratic process as a way of holding people in power to account. An integral part of this work is encouraging young people to register to vote.#
“We will continue our work using this much welcomed funding ahead of the general election, and then in advance of the London Mayoral and Welsh Assembly elections.”
Citizens UK is one of seven third sector organisations, also including Mencap and Operation Black Vote, to be given a grant as part of a £2.5 million fund to encourage people to register to vote announced by Cabinet Office Minister Sam Gyimah.
The Minister said:
“The right to vote has been hard-won, and it is the duty of everyone in public life, including the government, to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote is able to vote.
“It is easier and quicker to register to vote than ever before and this funding will make sure we are out across society to get those less likely to be registered to sign up.”
Citizens UK voter registration events this week include sessions after Friday prayers at the Karimia Institute, Nottingham, student sign up sessions in Coulsdon College, Croydon and a community registration session at the Aspire & Succeed Centre, Birmingham.
Citizens UK associate organizer and Young Leader of the Year 2013, Ismael Musoke said:
“As a first time voter myself, I am proud to be involved in the voter registration activities we are delivering across London and the rest of the UK.
“It’s easy to think that politics has got nothing to do with young people, and it’s just for privileged elite. Working with Citizens UK proves that’s not the case and it’s up to us to come together as civil society and demand our place at the negotiating table with politicians and business leaders so we help shape a future. It means being an active citizen, and at the core of that is taking the opportunity to vote seriously. Registering is quick and easy but so important.”
For media enquiries and information about Voter Registration events, please contact Gillian Owen, head of media, Citizens UK 07876246150
Citizens UK works to build the power of communities to act together on issues of social justice and the common good.