Harrow is the first borough to benefit from the launch of a voting-drive initiative in London which aims to increase participation in local elections.

A London charity, HOPE not Hate is today launching a series of voter registration drives until April 17, when voter registration closes, to try and increase voter participation in the local London elections on May 3.

Democracy Week, is beginning at the Harrow Campus of the University of Westminster where the charity is aiming to get students to sign-up to vote.

The charity will also be visiting universities, cafes and community centres in the boroughs of Barnet, Bromley and Kingston.

Over the next ten days HOPE not hate will be targeting EU citizens and what is classes as under-represented groups: students, renters, migrants, white working-class citizens, ethnic minorities and faith communities.

Elisabeth Pop is a Romanian EU National and British Resident and has been working as the charity's Democratic Engagement Officer for four years.

She says that the Democratic Week is a project very close to her heart:

"These elections could also be the last in which EU nationals can vote before Brexit brings in changes to their citizens' rights, including the potential loss of voting rights, so it's vital we help them to register their vote.

"Voting is the lifeblood of our democracy. Many people feel angry about the state of politics, while new migrant communities feel anxious about their future and unaware of their voting rights.

"It's vitally important their voices are heard at the ballot box, but we know turnout numbers have tumbled at past elections."

HOPE not Hate, an anti-racism charity, is backed by grassroots EU citizens movement the3million.

Ms Pop also said that it is important to work with groups who often feel like they are not part of society and do not have a voice.

She added: "At a local election every vote matters, if you don't go out and vote then you won't change anything.

"HOPE not Hate cares deeply about making sure under-represented communities have a voice.

"We are bringing democracy to people's doorsteps."

The charity says that voter registration is currently at an all-time low.

In May 2014 only 39 per cent of people voted across London in local elections compared with 62 per cent in 2010.

The initiative is also supported by youth engagement organisation Bite The Ballot and ice cream company Ben & Jerry's