Takeover day is a hugely successful and exciting project which puts children and young people into decision-making positions encouraging organisations and businesses to hear their views. Young people have the chance to experience the world of work and gain an insight into the adult world of work and organisations benefit from a fresh perspective on their work, both are inspired by their experiences.
Takeover day is a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England. Every November Barnet Council invites students into the council to takeover senior official’s roles for the day.
What are the benefits?
- experiencing the world of work
- developing new skills
- see behind the scene of how the council runs
- taking an active role in decision making.
What do you do on Takeover Day?
- take part in workshops
- work alongside staff from across the council, such as the chief executive and head of services.
What you said and we did…
Young people said they wanted the Council to communicate with young people through their schools, YouTube and face to face contact. The key areas they wanted to hear about were careers, safety, events and council services.
As a direct result of what they young people said their feedback has informed the new Children’s and Young People’s Plan communication strategy to start building our communication platforms and focussing on specific campaigns to address the issues they have raised, such as mental health and youth violence.
Feedback from staff who took part in Takeover day…
‘Last Friday, around 35 children and young people took over the council as part of the national Takeover Challenge. It was non-stop as they set off in groups to work with staff to review and evaluate our local services, joined a design workshop to ensure our leaflets and posters are child friendly and appealing, and gave their views in a communications focus group about how they want to be communicated with. The aim was for us to understand what is important to young people and listen to their views about how we can interact with and involve them in the services we provide for them.
The children and young people lent their voice to a discussion about minimizing serious youth violence and knife crime in Barnet and put their questions to the Strategic Director for Children and Young People, Chris Munday. In one task, they grilled staff about their roles in two-minute interviews ‘a la speed dating’ style. Maureen McDermott, Internal Communications Officer said: “The young people were very articulate with their questions and were interested to learn more about the services and support available to them.” Thank you to everyone who welcomed and worked with the children and young people.
How you can get involved?
Takeover day is available for students in Year 7-13 (11-19 year olds) and will be advertised through schools and our youth forums.