YOUNG people are going to the polls today (May 7), hoping to avoid a ‘raw deal’.
The Chichester Foyer is a supported-living service for young people at risk of homelessness.
On Tuesday (May 5), it held a youth hustings where young people got to quiz some party youth representatives.
“As a youth worker I think it is incredibly important for young people to engage in politics – as they have the most to lose,” said support coordinator David Wynne. “Statistically young people under the age of 25 are the least likely of those eligible to vote to do so.
“Because of this lack of engagement, political parties often see no reason to placate this audience, resulting in young people getting a raw deal from the system.”
David said 23 of Chichester Foyer’s 60 clients turned up for the hustings at its base in Velyn Avenue.
Over half of its clients have registered to vote, which David said was twice the national average.
He added: “The message I tried to push whilst getting our clients to register was: ‘If you don’t do politics, politics will do you’.”
Youth representatives of the Green Party, Liberal Democrats and UKIP along with other party members spoke passionately with clients on a range of issues, he said, including the housing crisis, housing list eligibility and why voting was important.
The vice-president of the University of Chichester Student Union also attended and detailed the importance of young people engaging with the political process, handed out leaflets explaining the UK’s political system.