Devon County Council welcome young people to County Hall for Takeover Challenge 2019

Group photo of young people and senior managers

Posted on: 17 December 2019

Devon County Council recently welcomed young people in care and care leavers to County Hall as part of Takeover Challenge day.

Over the last two years the national day, which was on 29 November, has encouraged nearly 100,000 children across the country to participate and gain valuable experience in the work place.

It provides an exciting opportunity for children to be put in decision making positions in organisations and helps those organisations gain a different perspective on the way that they work.

This year the Participation Team at Devon County Council, through the Devon Children and Families Partnership, has been encouraging a variety of organisations to provide Takeover opportunities in Devon.

Those taking part included Devon County Council, Space Youth Services, Barnes Children’s Homes, the Fostering Foundation, Capstone Foster Care South West, the Youth Intervention Team, Action for Children and Pathway Care Southwest, there were plenty of opportunities for children to participate in a range of activities.

At Devon County Council, the Participation Team organised a full day of Takeover activities including thinking of ideas and themes for the Children in Care awards 2020, taking over and reviewing social media and online content and helping around County Hall in both the reception and the shop.

Young people involved also had the opportunity to meet senior managers at the Council and interview them about their work, which they described it as ‘great fun’ and ‘an amazing experience’.

One of the young people who took part in the day at County Hall said: “I had a great time visiting County Hall today and taking over the senior managers offices! I really enjoyed the activities, especially interviewing the managers.  It was good to have a chance to talk with them about things that affect us and changes they might be able to make”.

Councillor James McInnes, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Schools, said: “Devon County Council is proud to support Takeover Challenge Day. It is a wonderful initiative which gets the young people involved in decision making at County Hall and helps us to continue to adapt and improve the services we provide for them.”

Darryl Freeman, Head of Children’s Social Care (Deputy Chief Officer) and one of the senior managers interviewed, said: “It was great to welcome the young people to County Hall and we had a lot of fun together. We want to have more opportunities like this for children to engage with us and our staff all over the county.  This way they can really influence all the services we provide.  I also hope they were inspired to think about being in roles like ours for their future.

The young people asked us very good questions about the things we do and how we provide support for them.  We were able to hear from them how they would like things to change and we will be taking action on their suggestions.”

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