My name is Kieran, I’m a volunteer youth worker and a former civil servant. Since a young age I have suffered from mental health problems and left 6th form with nothing in sight. Since then, I have worked hard to get to a better place. I have setup my own business, I volunteer and trained as a youth worker and an expedition leader which are things I am very proud to have accomplished. In my spare time I love hiking, gaming, anime, RuPaul’s Drag Race and trying to learn as much as I can about other people and other cultures.
“So why should I vote?” is what a lot of people have asked me or say whenever someone mentions politics and there is a really simple answer. It’s because YOUR say MATTERS, whatever choice you make will affect not only you but everyone you know and everything your country does. It sounds a bit overwhelming and you might feel like you need a degree to understand but actually all you need is a little bit of fact checking and to vote with your heart and sometimes all it can take is 5 minutes of your day to make 5 years of change a reality.
I will tell you why I vote and why it’s so important to vote and to be heard even when everyone tells you no one will care. Since I was 7, I have suffered from a string of mental health issues that have severely impacted my life in unexpected ways and since then getting help for that has been a rollercoaster. I have struggled so much to fight for help and at times no one cared and when people did start to care I never received good mental health care which is a common story in our country. Why should someone, your friends, your family, a human being have to suffer from not receiving proper health care when they try so hard to get better? That is just one of the reasons I vote, I want to change the way we treat people with mental health to be a priority and all of us together CAN change that with our voice and our vote!
Now you probably know about the Brexit vote and people would say this and that about the UK and the EU? Well, the vote for that was so close and millions of people didn’t even vote! And yet, that choice had a massive impact on me and will do on future young people. In my bio I said I left 6th form because of mental health issues, well I can’t tell you how hard it is to get onto your feet and make something for yourself in that situation but the first time someone reached their hand out and said “Hey, you’re a wonderful person and we want to help you” was a charity who had EU funding. Since that time, I took part in volunteering, training and schemes that all helped me learn life skills, be a better and more educated person and they even paid for a suit and shoes for me to attend interviews and actually get a job! All of that was funded with EU money from a project called Erasmus+ but now that we have left the EU, it’s gone. For something so essential to our community and young people around the UK to suddenly be gone is heart-breaking.
So please, if you have never voted, go out there and show the world that your voice exists and that your feelings need to be heard!