Teens getting engaged?

Article date: 17 June 2003

Of those teens eligible to vote at the next general election,four out of five plans to cast a vote, according to a studyreleased today.

The survey by Norwich Union into teen attitudes revealed thatrecent political events may have re-engaged young people with theprocess, by making them keen to visit the ballot box.

If they follow their voting intentions, youngsters will bebucking a strongly downward trend. Research by the Economic andSocial Research Council showed 68 per cent of 18 to 24-year-oldsvoted in 1997 and just 21 per cent did so in 2001.

The poll commissioned by Norwich Union probed 450 young peopleaged 13 to 19 about their knowledge and views of politics and theadults running our country. More than half don’t think theGovernment is doing a good job and three in five have no idea whois in opposition to Tony Blair.

But before the next election, today’s youngsters haveanother chance to engage with the political process – throughthe Citizenship Foundation’s National Youth ParliamentCompetition, sponsored by Norwich Union.

The National Youth Parliament Competition 2003/4 –launched yesterday (16 June) at 10 Downing Street by Cherie BoothQC – aims to encourage a sense of citizenship among 11 to18-year-olds and to provide an active insight into democracy.

Young people are asked to produce a video of their own mockparliamentary session, including Prime Minister's question time,and a panel of MPs judge the entries. The competition also supportsthe citizenship curriculum, which is now statutory in England for11- 16-year-olds.

Nick Pierson, head of public affairs at Norwich Union, said:“Our research reveals youngsters have a basic faith in thedemocratic process. The vast majority still intend to vote.We’re confident the National Youth Parliament Competitionwill stimulate this sense of responsible citizenship inteenagers.”

Tony Breslin, chief executive of the Citizenship Foundation,said: “A lot is said about young people not being interestedin politics. Norwich Union’s research and the quality ofentrants to the National Youth Parliament Competition tell us thatthere is real interest: it is the task of all involved in politicsand education to ensure that this is nurtured anddeveloped.”

To take part in the National Youth Parliament Competition2003/4, you can download an application form fromwww.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk, call 020 7367 0500 or e-mailNYPC@citizenshipfoundation.org.uk. Deadline for applications: 7December 2003

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Media contacts:
Matthew Buchanan/Charlotte Ruddlesdin at QBO Bell Pottinger on 0207861 2424
David Ross/Liz Kennett at Norwich Union Press Office on 08703 66 6867

  • Notes to editors:

  • Norwich Union commissioned Brand & Issues Research tospeak to 455 young people during April 2003.
  • The Citizenship Foundation is an independent charity (no.801360) working throughout the UK and overseas to promote moreeffective citizenship through education about the law, democracyand society. Founded in 1989, it aims to empower people,particularly the young and disadvantaged, with the knowledge,skills and understanding to engage positively with theircommunities.

    Our work includes:

    • A comprehensive range of citizenship resources for a wideaudience from teachers to young offenders
    • Nationwide bespoke training on all aspects of theCitizenship curriculum.
    • National active learning projects for secondaryschools.
    • Community-based projects to develop citizenship education asa collective responsibility.

    www.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk

  • Sponsorship of the National Youth Parliament Competition ispart of Norwich Union’s responsible citizenship programme,which seeks to encourage individuals, business and Government notonly to explore their rights but to take responsibility for theiractions. www.aviva.com.
  • Norwich Union is the UK’s largest insurer with a marketshare of around 16 per cent and is more than 1.5 times the size ofits nearest rival. It is also the largest personal linesinsurer.
  • It has a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses. It insures:
    • one in five households
    • one in five motor vehicles
    • more than 700,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases are available on the Avivaplc website at www.aviva.com/media
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68

For all life & pensions media enquiries call 08703 66 6873
For all other media enquiries call 08703 66 68 68

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