Student makes 540-mile journey to cast her vote

By Suzanne Cleave in Local People

A?YOUNG woman from Launceston travelled over 500 miles to vote — after she failed to receive her postal vote form at university in Essex.

Cathy Parkin, who attends acting school in Southend-on-Sea, applied online for the postal vote, but when some of her flat mates began to receive their postal votes and she hadn’t, alarm bells started ringing.

She contacted Cornwall Council and was told that the council did not receive her application.

She explained: “The lady I spoke to realised my frustration so I asked if I would be able to still turn up to the polling station to vote and she said yes I would be able to.”

Cathy spoke to the head of course at her university, who agreed to give her time off to travel back to Cornwall, then she decided there was only one thing to do — make the 540-mile trip back to her home town to cast her vote.

She said: “A lot of people, especially my age, have said one vote is not going to make the difference, but I have been saying we can’t think like that. Collectively it can make a difference.

“If I didn’t travel down, I would have been going against everything I have said up to that point.”

However, the journey from Southend-on-Sea to Launceston was not an easy one.

Cathy had to catch a train from Southend to get into London, and then, because she had some time to spare, she walked the three miles across the capital to catch the next bus.

This took her from London to Exeter, another four hours of travel.

From there, she was collected from the station by her parents. Cathy spent the night at her parents’ house and went to the polling station at Launceston Town Hall on Thursday to cast her vote.

Although the brief visit back home cost her money and time out of her studies, Cathy was adamant she had made the right decision.

“It’s definitely been worth it.”

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