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Successful V4CE Stakeholder and Networking Event

Updated: Feb 22

As a grantee for the GLA Voter ID Public Awareness campaign, Voice4Change England held a Stakeholder and Networking event on the 1st February 2024, with the primary aim of promoting political literacy supported by the Greater London Authority.

Our Deputy Director, Dr Sharmin Shajahan, welcomed the group of more than 35 participants. She introduced our current major projects such as the Catalyst London and Regions Programmes, funded by the City Bridge Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund respectively. She also launched our new video on political literacy.

V4CE Deputy Director, Sharmin Shajajan
V4CE Deputy Director, Dr Sharmin Shajahan

We then delivered an interactive workshop led by Infrastructure and Development Officer, Sara Kathrada. The participants certainly learnt a lot about political literacy, expressing lots of surprise at the answers to the quiz, for example that you can register to vote at 16.

The V4CE team then facilitated some fruitful discussions; groups discussed how to increase voter registration and voter engagement in Black and Minoritised Ethnic (BME) and disadvantaged groups.

Our stakeholders brought their unique experiences and backgrounds together to explore a range of innovative ideas, from engaging with youth under voting age, to changing the way we vote! Here are a few key takeaways from the group discussions:

Who to influence
  • Young people who are under the voting age and their parents.

  • Faith communities and religious leaders as trusted voices in their communities. 

  • Older generations and new migrants who do not speak English or have limited access to online services.

How to influence
  • Have inspiring candidates that represent local communities and can bridge the gap, as many people do not feel represented by political candidates.

  • Show real life examples, particularly to younger representatives, of the benefits of voting and the consequences of not voting.

  • Provide opportunities for young people to meet politicians so that their voices can be heard.

  • Create multiple language versions of resources for new migrants who do not speak English

  • Offer 1-1 IT support to older generations who have limited access to online services

  • Use simple and positive language

  • Empower young people to become ambassadors for democratic engagement, to inspire others.

Channels of influence
  • Secondary schools, colleges or universities/academic institutions, including pupil referral units. 

  • Cultural media channels, for example media outlets targeting black and minoritised ethnic groups.

We look forward to seeing the impact of these discussions in the coming months. 


Next, our Director, Kunle Olulode wrapped up with some final words about the importance of democracy and collective action. He stressed that voting isn’t the only way to participate in democracy, and people should also feel they can engage and influence policy direction in other ways, giving the example of young people getting involved in school governing bodies.

He also informed our stakeholders of V4CE’s new free membership offer. Members will now benefit from a new online platform that offers recordings and presentation slides of our rich range of workshops, tailored training, advocacy support, members newsletter, exclusive news, networking opportunities and so on.

We sought new perspectives on how attendees might like to engage with the work of V4CE, which should bring about some exciting new exchanges. As we broke for a delicious lunch, attendees had the opportunity to build new connections with each other. We have received lots of positive feedback from attendees. Find out more here.

“It’s really useful for me to see and hear about how important it is for the community to vote. But also the most vulnerable people in the community to be able to have their say and how we can reach them. And it’s also educational for me to hear about whether refugees and asylum seekers have the right to vote.” 

Aita Lokhat - Zubeda Welcome 

Charity supporting refugees and asylum seekers

Leonard Theobalds, Precious Counselling and Mentoring  Community Interest Company supporting BAME young people in Enfield

“I found today very very informative. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about needing ID to vote. I didn’t know anything about being able to register if you’re homeless, or actually that you can register from 16, I thought that was 18. So today’s been very informative and there should be a lot more stuff like this - it’s important.”

Leonard Theobalds, Precious Counselling and Mentoring 

Community Interest Company supporting BAME young people in Enfield 

Tony Wong, Chief Executive Hackney CVS
“I found it really interesting [to hear] about your involvement in the campaign to get people to vote, particularly from BME and marginalised communities. I think it’s a really important agenda. Like you, I feel very passionate about people having autonomy and control and being able to influence the world around them. [I’m] really excited to see how we could support the campaign.”

Tony Wong, Chief Executive Hackney CVS

The day turned out to be a huge success thanks to our team’s efforts, and the attitudes of all our amazing attendees. For people who were not able to attend our event, we have prepared an event recap video. Hopefully we will see you at our next in-person networking event! Follow our online channels for more information.

Our Catalyst London and Regions Programme offers tailored infrastructure support to build resilience for your organisation. If you are interested, click here for more information about upcoming workshops.

V4CE Team
V4CE Team

This event was supported by the Greater London Authority, City Hall, Kamal Chunchie Way, E16 1ZE, printed and promoted by Voice4ChangeEngland, 2c Falkland Road, NW5 2PT.



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