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As Children’s Commissioner, I hear from children every day about their ambitions, their experiences and the people or things in their lives that make a difference.

It is my job to listen to what children say and ensure that their voices are heard and acted upon by those in positions of power: politicians, policy makers, the adults in charge.

One of the most striking findings from The Big Ambition survey was that only one in five children agreed that people who run the country listened to what they had to say.

Over the term of each parliament, thousands of children will become voters for the first time and suddenly have a vote to accompany their voice – this is an exciting milestone for many young people.

For a number of my Youth Ambassadors this has been the first time they have had the opportunity to vote in their first General Election. I wanted to find out what the experience meant to them.


“Exercising my right to vote today for the first time was incredibly exciting! It is of incredible importance that not only me, but other young people vote at this critical time. We are facing crises in almost every sector of public life, from the NHS to education, and it is vital that young people across the country voted to ensure that their voices are heard and that they played their part in influencing the future of British politics and ultimately what life will be like in the next 5 years. I hope the winning political party chooses to implement policies that will not only radically reform the UK into a more equal and just society, but also prioritise young people and children at the heart of these policies. If we want to build sustainable change over the next 5 years, the next government has to ensure that young peoples’ views are heard and acted upon. We are the future generation, and this needs to be reflected in policies that no longer favour short-termism but favour creating lasting, impactable change, shaping the country into one which is valuable for young people to live in.”


“Having the ability to vote for the first time was such a privilege as it enables me to amplify my voice and impact the future decisions and decision makers of this country. It’s so significant that young people and the rest of the country exercise their right to vote in hopes of strengthening our democratic system.”


“Voting is important because it ensures our voices as youths are heard and our interests are represented in government decisions. As a young adult, I feel voting is important because we have the ability to influence policy decisions that affect our future, such as education, climate change, and job opportunities. My hopes for the future are that more teenagers and young adults take part and engage in voting. I believe that strong engagement will lead to a stronger and more successful community and future for the UK.”


“Voting for the first time is an empowering process. It marks a transition into adulthood, and allows our voice to shape our local area, community and wider country. The participation of youth is integral for addressing the key issues that affect our generation, for example crime, climate change and job opportunities. Challenging voter apathy amongst the youth is essential, our vote can drive forward meaningful change, and influence policy that directly affects us. By voting, we can ensure that our unique views and perspectives are represented, this fostering a dynamic and inclusive democracy.”

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