Amisha Ghadiali

Amisha Ghadiali

If you are 18, a resident in the UK and on the electoral register you have the right to vote.

Yet statistics show there are a high percentage of non-voters in the UK and the majority of them happen to inhabit a particular age bracket.

Steven Fielding - Nottingham University’s Professor of Political History and Director of the Centre for British Politics - states that a four million-strong army of 18-34 year old, British working women and mums could hold key to this week’s election and the outcome to who ultimately governs the country could be in her hands.

The report identifies that generally women in this particular group, feel isolated and consequently less than half plan to vote.

An independent survey by market researchers, Opinion Matters, backs these findings. In the survey of more than 1,400, only one in five said they actually cared who wins on May 6.

We each play a part in persuading the ‘non voters’ to vote and jewellery designer, and associate director of the Ethical Fashion Forum Amisha Ghadiali thinks she may have the answer. Amisha has launched a campaign to make politics more fashionable in the lead up to the election.

Think Act Vote uses creative energy to inspire people to think positively about the future and the votes they cast. It’s no secret that most people think that politics lacks relevance in their lives. Many of these negative feelings exist because people don’t think they are actually being given any real choices.

Yet every day we make choices that shape our world. Think Act Vote is a campaign to inspire us to think positively about our future – not just today but tomorrow and beyond.

“Think Act Vote was started because I felt despondent with the state of the political situation and so decided to do something about it. I started by building a website and the site has grown and grown and now we enjoy a huge volume of traffic, which confirms that it must be something people want.

“At the beginning of the campaign we ran a competition to design the perfect campaign T-shirt. This was a great opportunity for up and coming designers and the chance to spread the message of the campaign. The winning design by Jesson Yip represents words, with different fonts representing different people’s voices; the design was then printed onto Earth Positive Eco T-shirts.

“By incorporating a creative element, we gave people the option to write a poem. John Bird, founder of the Big Issue has agreed to judge the poetry competition and print the winner in the magazine.

“We have also created a handbook called “The Future I Choose” which will be available to buy and we will also present it to the Prime Minister in June - whoever that may be. It gives people to opportunity to either be photographed for the book or to take part by sharing their vision of the future by answering the question

“What Future Do You Choose?” By doing this you get to think about the world that you want to live in and how you can change the way you can help to get us there.”

Amisha studied Politics and Parliamentary Studies at The University of Leeds.

“I worked as a volunteer on social projects, during and after University, including a stint working for a Congressman in Washington D.C.”

Amisha felt sure that a career in International Development was what lay ahead until, in 2005 on New Years Eve a freak accident gave her an incredible and transformative opportunity to re-evaluate what she really wanted from life.

“Being run over by a 4-wheel drive pick up truck is not an everyday occurrence; to survive such an experience certainly changes your focus in life.”

Having always had on eye for fashion and design and the influence of a creative mother Amisha set about re-discovering the creativity she had put to one side in favour of politics.

What better solution than a jewellery label that could combine all her great passions: a love of colour, a love of self expression, a life-long fascination with crystals and their properties, and a desire to do something positive for the world. Ten per cent of the profit from each piece is donated to, one of four, carefully selected, local and global charities.

Amisha feels that by integrating raising awareness into more of our everyday transactions we are a step closer to greater social responsibility. Amisha works with the charities: Shelter, Groundwork, War on Want and Everychild.

We may not think it but perhaps everyday we all do a little something positive to help transform our world. May 6th could be your chance to make these things happen even quicker.

Visit the Think Act Vote website on www.thinkactvote.org

Poppy Watt