The reason why I’m getting involved in the general election

In the weeks before the general election on 8 June 2017, CAFOD supporters across the country are getting involved by speaking to all political parties and candidates about how the poorest communities across the world must be kept in mind during the upcoming election.

There are many reasons why supporters choose to get involved and here are some of their stories.

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Eleanor Margetts, 24, who is currently is a mission and outreach Officer for Wellspring Community, Brighton, addressed CAFOD supporters and MPs at a recent reception that was held in parliament.

“I am not an expert, I am just someone who lives in Brighton and does a bit of work for CAFOD every now and then,” said Eleanor. “I think that it is really important to remember that ordinary people do care and can make a difference.

“International development works and the UK has such a great part to play in the future. I think that it is a really important chance for us to show that the UK can be an autonomous country that is striving for that global change.”

“We need make sure that we continue to talk to our MPs and engage with policy to ensure that our country maintains its compassionate heart and show that it is ready to be part of the future of this just world.”

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Kiera Harman, 17, from Wickford, also attended the reception. She got speak to many MPs and ask important questions to MPs before the election.

CAFOD young leaders meeting MP John Pugh
CAFOD young leaders meeting MP John Pugh

“It’s important to talk to MPs so we can get them to understand the things that matter to us. I study government and politics at A-level and I’m really interested in politics, so this is a good opportunity to get more connected,” said Kiera.

“I want to ask my MP what he is doing about climate change. CAFOD is doing a lot of work in this area but I want to know what my MP’s party is doing.”

“I would encourage other people to make sure they read party manifestos, so they’re aware of the issues that will affect them.”

Three top things to ask candidates this general election

Trevor Stockton, 77, from Wolverhampton was motivated to get involved with the general election so he can speak up for the poorest communities around the world. He said:

Eleanor Margetts meeting Commons Speaker the Rt Hon John Bercow MP
Eleanor Margetts meeting Commons Speaker the Rt Hon John Bercow MP

“I’ve been a CAFOD supporter since the 1960s, as I wanted to ensure the voice of the voiceless was heard, and that those who are disadvantaged are fully represented by MPs. It’s important to lobby our MPs so that they know about CAFOD’s work and our desire to bring about change, as MPs are how we can do that.”

“My message to other people would be to get involved, got to hustings, go to any gatherings or parliamentary hustings. Test your candidate on the issues you care about. I did that at the last election and it was very telling.”

So, as the general election draws closer, remember that your voice is crucial and important to every political representative. Now is the time to get involved and ask your parliamentary candidates to remember the needs of the poorest communities.

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