With the General Election campaign in full swing, YMCA Birmingham, the not-for-profit organisation that works with people, especially the young, regardless of faith, race, ability or gender, will be hosting a Hustings-style event at The Coppice in Erdington.

Taking place today (Monday April 20) from 7-9pm, the event will see representatives from each key political party take part in a ‘Question Time’ style panel, with Alan Fraser, CEO at YMCA Birmingham, acting as chair.

Confirmed election candidates include: Labour – Jack Dromey, Conservatives – Robert Alden, Green Party – Joe Belcher, UKIP – Andrew Garcarz, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) – Ted Woodley.

As one of the city’s leading charities for 16-25 year olds, the Hustings event will welcome local young people, students and YMCA Birmingham residents to speak directly with their election candidates and present questions, issues and concerns which particularly affect young people, such as affordable accommodation and mental health issues.

Traditionally, this demographic  tend not to vote at the same levels as those in other age categories; and so the aim of this event is to engage young people in politics, raising the likelihood of voting as a result of being part of the Hustings.

With representatives from all major political parties on one panel, this is an ideal opportunity to hear first-hand young people’s attitudes towards politics and the elections, as well as to hear what the representative from each political party has to say in direct response to young peoples’ issues and concerns. Questions will be asked from the floor and each of the parliamentary candidates will be given an opportunity to respond individually.

There will be an opportunity for media to speak with representatives from YMCA Birmingham, including CEO Alan Fraser, YMCA Birmingham residents, students from Greenwood Academy and Plantsbrook School, as well as election candidates, before during or after the event.

The charity currently has nine accommodation sites across the city and offers a variety of training and educational services to the local community. They plan to expand greatly over the coming years and work with more young people and homeless in the city.

In addition to helping hundreds of the city’s homeless youth into supported accommodation, YMCA Birmingham is also a provider of affordable childcare and comprehensive training packages which are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Housing.