Please follow & like us

You’ve used your vote, so take good care of it

A guest blog by Joanne Lee, Sefton CVS

So, I wake up and send my mate Richard a Snapchat story from last night, even though we went see Derren Brown together.

Take care of your vote
It’s boring I know, but make sure you’ve had one of these!

Then a quick scroll through the craziness of Twitter, as I do every day, see that the world is completely mad, but 2017 has been one of those hasn’t it? Has it always been like this?

Anyway, I digress. There is a point to all this!

Like any routine, and being starved of tech for nearly three months, I slipped straight into my social apps when I touched down on my flight from Liberia* in May.

It turned out I had the small matter of a general election to vote in. Britain, I can’t leave you alone for 3 months!

Before I voted I had to deal with a major comedown – Liberia was monumental, life changing, all of those clichés!

The buzz of seeing my mates, a promotion at work, jaunts to Scandinavia and Hamburg, soon wore off (I still can’t get Michael Jackson’s Liberian Girl out of my head though).

While all this was going I was sorting out somewhere to live.

Oh, and that general election. I voted in 2015 so I didn’t have to worry about registering. Right? Wrong! The electoral register still had me at my old address and I hadn’t signed the papers on my new place.

I actually panicked (for five minutes), which probably seems weird to you. I’m not one of the disaffected millennials that you read about in the press, but even my mates who aren’t politico geeks were fired up for this election, so no way was I missing out.

It turned out I needn’t have worried and my details were updated as soon as I signed my rental papers and could confirm my new address details. Phew!

Yes that’s right, if you’ve changed address without updating your records on the electoral register, or haven’t updated your details at your current address in the last 3 years, you won’t be able to vote when the next election comes around. And who knows when that will be?

If you’re at uni, you can be registered at two addresses, but if you want to vote in a general election, need to decide which of those addresses you will vote at and stick to that polling station. 

Updating your records is really easy to do online. If it’s only to confirm that the details haven’t changed, just send a text to 80212 or call 0800 197 9871 Make sure that you use the reference number on the mail out you have received in the post, which I am clearly overjoyed to be holding (see picture above).

If you haven’t received the form, contact Sefton Council on 0345 140 0845 or by email

So, that point I wanted to make? If, like a lot of my friends you were finally fired up to get off your backsides in June, a vote is for life not just for elections. You need to take good care of it. If you don’t look after it, you won’t have a voice.

Wheelie good news for Ben and his new bike

Its Wheelie good news for Ben from Formby whose parents took delivery of a specialised Hugbike. Bens family and friends have been raising money for the bike through the summer and last week the day came when he made his inaugural ride.

Ben who is 13 and lives with his family in Formby has a congenital heart condition and autism, which made it difficult for him to ride a bike. After his parents exhausted every avenue for Ben to be able to cycle independently, they came across Hugbike, they’re an Italian based company who create these highly specialised tandem bikes for people living with additional needs.

The bike comes with a hefty price tag but and Bens family have spent the summer fundraising to ensure Ben could get the bike he needs. With the help of The Joseph Harley Bequest Fund, which supports young people in Formby, they were able to secure funding to help reach their target.

Ben’s dad Jon said ‘We’re thrilled to have this bike for Ben, for him to be able to cycle safely with us is amazing, it’s allowed Ben to gain a real sense of independence and adventure as well.

I can now take both of my sons for bike rides, and that’s such a great thing to be able to say.  I’d like to thank everybody in the community who donated time, money and effort for us to be able to get this bike for Ben.’

The Hugbike is designed to offer excitement and comfort to people living with disabilities. Most importantly the bike will give Ben the chance to create an important opportunity for personal and social inclusion. So if you see him riding round Formby with his Dad and Brother, give him a wave.    

 

Search Box