A Harrow woman with learning disabilities spoke in front of 300 people about her experience of voting for the first time.

Charlotte Thomson, 25, who has a learning disability and the genetic condition William syndrome, met Minister for the Constitution Chloe Smith MP and spoke to election professionals from across the UK at the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) annual conference.

Charlotte, a Harrow Mencap spokesperson and volunteer, worked with the charity's advocacy and engagement team on her speech.

She said: “I didn’t know what elections were until I started volunteering with Harrow Mencap three years ago. I voted for the first time in the 2017 Election.

“I took part in a hustings organised by them and Yvonne Lee from Harrow Mencap’ Advocacy and Engagement team supported me and came with me on voting day.

“People with learning disabilities may need to help to vote, but they have the same right to be heard and vote like anyone else. It’s important that people working in the polling stations offer support.”

Harrow Mencap supports people with learning disability and autism by providing services to children, young people and adults across all disabilities in the borough.

More than 300 delegates attended the annual conference in Brighton such as electoral administrators, Cabinet Office personnel, local councils, stakeholders and officers from the Electoral Commission.

The conference covered the theme of ‘rising to the challenge’ which include various workshops, seminars and speeches on updates on the latest developments, legislation and best practice.

Chief executive of the association of electoral administrators, Peter Stanyon said: “We’d like to thank Charlotte for sharing her experience and ideas on how electoral administrators can make both registering to vote and voting more accessible for people with a learning disability.

“We and our members are fully supportive of any work that improves accessibility for the entire electorate and we will continue to work with the Cabinet Office, electoral commission and disability charities to support our members to identify and eliminate as many barriers as possible.”

For more information about Harrow Mencap go to www.harrowmencap.org.uk or call 020 88698484 or 020 84237382.