'Issues that matter to you should matter to politicians' - Rallying cry to get Gen Z to register for vote as deadline looms

The general election is fast approaching
-Credit: (Image: Rui Vieira/PA Wire)

The July General Election is rapidly approaching, with the deadline for registering to vote coming this week.

Now, a number of independent charities and groups are encouraging people to register themselves to be eligible to vote. One group, 'My Life My Say', is now encouraging young people to turn out and vote for their futures.

According to the charity, three quarters of young people say politicians don't care about them, and at least 30% of young people have not yet registered ahead of the deadline on Tuesday, June 18, at 11.59pm.

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Reuben, from Huddersfield, will turn 18 just before the election and so is eligible to vote. He has now spoken out about some of the issues which matter most to him.

After losing a friend to knife-crime, Reuben believes there needs to be much more funding for youth services in the country. He also believes junk food advertising targeting young people is a problem.

Now, the 'Give an X' campaign, run by 'My Life My Say', the largest youth registration campaign in the country, is attempting to encourage people to register. This campaign aims to reassure young people that they do not need to be experts to make their voices heard, and that they can make noise around the issues that matter to them, whatever they may be.

According to the latest data, the three most important issues for young people in the UK are health and the NHS, with 54% listing this as most important, the economy at 43% at housing and house prices, at 42%.

More than half, or 53%, of young people, believe their parents were better off financially and had better opportunities than they currently do. A total of 76% of young people are also concerned about private rental costs and 37% believe the government should prioritise investment in mental health services.

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Dan Lawes, Head of Partnerships, at My Life My Say said: " Young people are feeling more and more disconnected from politics. It can seem overly complicated, irrelevant, and often pointless, but they’re also the ones that are faced with some of the most unpreceded challenges - from soaring living costs to mental health crises. You might think that a lot of issues that matter to you don’t feel political, such as your local leisure centre closing down, or the fact that you can’t afford to move out of your parents’ place. Whatever they may be, the issues that matter to you should matter to politicians, as they’re in power to represent you.

"Ahead of the deadline for registering for the general election, we are proud to be standing with thousands of young people with one collective message – our voices matter. It's a call to action for every young person to step up, be counted, and shape the future they want to see – let's Give an X together!"

The campaign will also be running a number of events with a number of companies backing them, such as Lime Bike, Snapchat and Ben & Jerry's. They are also supported by mental health charity Mind, high-profile activists such as Kwajo Tweneboa, Amy Hart and Sharon Gaffka.

Kwajo Tweneboa, housing and social issues campaigner, said: "I am passionate about improving social housing conditions and believe that everyone deserves a safe and dignified home. If you care about this issue, climate change, the NHS, the cost of living or anything else that affects your life, then you care about politics!

"That’s why I’m thrilled to be part of the ‘Give an X’ campaign, encouraging young people to use their voices and vote. It’s never been more important for young people to speak up about the issues they care about. Your vote can make a significant difference to many lives. Your voice matters. Take the first step and register to vote before the deadline at 11.59pm on Tuesday 18th."

In addition, 21% of young people are not aware that they needed photo ID to vote in a general election due to new government requirements. If you do not have suitable ID, you can apply from a voter authority certificate from the government with the deadline on June 26, at 5pm.

Minesh Patel, Associate Director of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, said: "This year’s general election is a pivotal moment for mental health, and your voice matters. Make sure you're registered, and ready to have your say. Together we can show how many of us Give an X about mental health."