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Your Vote, Your Voice – working with BAME Londoners

Voice for Change Voter ID information event with older Londoners

The project “Your Vote, Your Voice”, delivered by Voice for Change England during phase one of the GLA Voter ID grants programme, raised awareness and increased understanding about the changes requiring photo identification to vote and encouraging under-registered and under-represented groups from Black and Minoritised Ethnic (BME) communities in London to register to vote and fulfilling their civic and democratic rights.

In particular, we engaged with hard-to-reach groups who have barriers to access and understand information, such as, elderly migrant communities whose first language is not English, people from Deaf communities, Asian communities and Orthodox Jewish community (via newspaper LinkIt Heimishe Weekly Advertiser) who do not have internet and TV at home.

Our awareness workshop with video, social media and print media campaign were well received and our members and grantees in London requested more workshops, reflecting the need for more awareness raising. A significant moment was at the launch of our campaign workshop and video that included very engaging discussions and feedback:

“I think coming here today was really good, simply because I didn’t know about this new legislation about voter ID, so it’s created a lot of self-awareness. I can go back to my beneficiaries, and I can go back to my community and share what I’ve learned today so that they know what’s expected of them and they don’t lose their right to vote”. – Lola Owolabi, Director, Proud to Be Me

All the workshops highlighted that most participants were not aware of the changes about Voter ID and about the different types of accepted photo ID and none of the attendees in any of the workshops knew about the free Voter Authority certificates.

We gave out a survey at the end of the workshops and those who filled it in responded that after taking part in the workshop 89% of people surveyed had an increased sense of belonging to their neighbourhood; 80% felt increased sense of belonging to London and 89% felt ready to use their voice to vote.

“Very useful and informative. With the resources provided we will share this message and spread awareness”. – Survey feedback from project participant