21 June 2016
In the lead up to the EU referendum, Bite the Ballot and Starbucks teamed up to provide DeCafes (democracy cafes) in a bid to get more young people to #TurnUp to vote in the EU Referendum. Zak, a Dare Londoner, hosted the event. Here is his experience:
The aim/purpose of the DeCafe was to get young people (no matter their prior knowledge) to be engaged in politics by giving them an opportunity to have their voices heard in a safe and positive environment. I wanted to get involved because getting young people into politics is an important cause. My objective was to encourage young people to do something out of their comfort zones.
Working with Storm Lawrence from Bite the Ballot (former Youth Leadership Officer at London Youth) was a pleasure as she helped me with knowledge and self-confidence. I was the lead facilitator with assistance from Francis Augusto (Talent Match London Research Youth Advisor) during the EU DeCafe session. My job was to keep the session flowing and give the young people involved the freedom to have their say on the upcoming EU Referendum. At first, I was really nervous as this was my biggest challenge yet in life. I enjoyed how relaxed the debates were and how understanding the group were to each other’s opinions. Since the DeCafe session I have become a lot more comfortable getting involved with EU referendum events, like the debates which took place last week in the session. It is important that young people are empowered to engage with Politics, because it gives us a chance to experience situations out of our comfort zone and opportunities to spread knowledge to our communities and peers.