I'm holding back tears, trying to not let my anger get the better of me and using the results of the General Election in the UK to propel me to become more involved in politics and my local community. We don't know all the actual figures yet but around 35% of people did not vote and only around 30% of those who did vote placed cross in the box for the party who are going to form the government.
Are you worried about what is going to happen in the UK over the next five years? Does the thought of more cuts and austerity leave you feeling helpless? There is something you can do to make sure your voice is heard and that the people in power are made accountable for their actions. I'm not going to lecture you on my beliefs or just urge you to join the party I belong to but if you want to make a contribution and not feel powerless I urge you to consider the following five points.
Join a political party - If you join a party you can influence their policies, vote for who becomes the leader of the party and much more. For sign up forms click here for Labour, Plaid Cymru, Green and here for SNP. If you don't want to join a party you could attend local political meetings and some councils stream their meetings online so you can see what happens and what type of things are discussed.
Join a trade union - If you want better pay and conditions, a safer workplace, job security, advice and support, legal protection at work and fairness consider joining a union. There are lots of unions for specific industries such as UNISON who represent public sector workers and USDAW who represent workers in the retail, distributive, manufacturing and service sector.
Check out UK Uncut - UK Uncut is a grassroots movement taking action to highlight alternatives to austerity. They use acts of creative civil disobedience to show our opposition to the Government’s cuts to our public services.
Volunteer at a food bank - The people at the The Trussell Trust want to tackle the underlying roots of poverty in the UK and want to bring communities together to end hunger. 3 million people live below the poverty line in the UK .Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Trussell Trust foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK.If you don't have time to volunteer you can donate money and if you don't have cash to spare consider organising a food donation box or helping to sort food at one of their branches.
Don't just moan - If you see inequality, hunger, injustice and despair please do what you can to help out. It's going to be a long five years of ideological cuts and the vulnerable need to know we've got their backs.
If you run/help out at a charity, organise protests and petitions and want to share what you do please leave links in the comments. I hope that we can move towards electoral reform and ensure a future fair for all inhabitants of the UK, not just those with wealth. I didn't know how to get the tone of this just right or even if doing a silly blog post will help anyone but I've given it my best shot.