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Conference to encourage a new generation of voters in Wales

The initial list of speakers for a ‘once in a generation’ conference has been revealed by the Urdd.

Ni Bia’r Dewis (The Choice is Ours) will be held virtually at 7pm on Thursday the 15th of April, and arranged by the Urdd’s Votes for 16/17 Project Officer, Grug Muse.

For the first time, 16- and 17-year-olds across Wales will be able to vote in the Senedd Elections on 6 May. As a result, Grug was appointed to work on behalf of the Urdd to ensure that the young people of Wales take the opportunity to vote.

Co-presenting the conference will be Mel Owen and Greta Evans. A series of speakers will be discussing the importance of young people having a voice in the Senedd Elections, for about 3-4 minutes each. The speakers include Megan John from Disability Wales and UCAN; Erin Owain, a climate change risk assessor; Professor of Politics Richard Wyn Jones; a speaker from the Welsh mental health recovery service Meddwl.org. More speakers will be announced in due course.

Grug Muse from the Urdd said: “We in Wales have a completely unique opportunity to reach our ro a group of new voters and give them the political education they need. Listening to such a diverse list of speakers should offer them different perspectives on today’s political world.

“It is vital that our young people understand why the Senedd Elections are important, how they can change people’s lives, and impact everything around them. The conference will celebrate this historic occasion, but also raises awareness of the Election, the work of the Senedd, and show how to ensure young voices are heard by placing d the way in which young voters can use their vote to ensure their voices are heard.

“This Election is only the beginning, not the finishing line. It is important that we see the vote as part of a toolbox of ways to speak out and hold our politicians accountable. I hope this conference can set the Election within that wider context. I encourage everyone from individuals to schools and colleges to register for the conference by visiting our website.”

Chief Executive of Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Siân Lewis, said: “As Wales’ largest youth organisation, the Urdd can play an important role in ensuring that as many young Welsh people aged 16-17 as possible take advantage of this opportunity to vote for the first time. They are the future, and therefore should be encouraged to vote and make the changes that will shape their lives.”