When it comes to elections, we at Harrow Mencap are apolitical, we do not back one candidate or party over another.

Our only aim is to ensure that people with learning disabilities and their families can have their voices heard on the issues that affect them and can make informed decisions.

With this aim in mind, we hosted a hustings event to provide our clients, volunteers, ambassadors and staff an opportunity to engage with their local MP candidates for General Election 2019.

Before the candidates arrived, we invited Deputy Electoral Services Manager Veeshal Seegoolam to speak about registering to vote, other ways of voting such as proxy and postal voting, and making voting accessible.

After Veeshal's speech, we registered people to vote and prepared some questions to ask the candidates.

The candidates who spoke at the hustings were:

  1. Dr Anwara Ali MBE - Conservative Candidate for Harrow West
  2. David Simmons - Conservative Candidate for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner
  3. Pamela Fitzpatrick - Labour Candidate Harrow East
  4. Peymana Assad - Labour Candidate for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner
  5. Gareth Thomas - Labour Candidate for Harrow West
  6. Sarah Green - Green Candidate for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner
  7. Adam Bernard - Liberal Democrat Harrow East
  8. Lisa-Maria Bornemann - Liberal Democrat Harrow West
  9. Jonathan Banks - Liberal Democrat for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner

The guests including support workers, clients, staff and volunteers asked questions to.

The questions were on topics including benefits, opportunities for people with a learning disability to work, ensuring people with learning disabilities get the opportunity to vote, raising awareness and making people with learning disabilities more visible, closure of NHS walk-in centres, accessing transport including staff awareness and support needs training.

Some attendees shared their feedback about the event.

Tim said:

The hustings event was very good, I was very happy to attend.

Charlotte said:

I thought it was amazing, I enjoyed asking a question because I have a voice and I did it for myself.