Working together to encourage youth participation through The Takeover Challenge.

The Takeover Challenge see’s organisations across England opening their doors to children and young people to take over adult job roles and promote and encourage youth participation. It puts children and young people into decision-making positions and encourages organisations and businesses to hear their views.

We collaborated with Dudley Councils participation officer to use a partnership approach to increase the opportunities and involve more organisations including voluntary sector organisations. We organised, coordinated and evaluated all 50 opportunities.

Takeover Challenge built on the work started by the Youth Service in 2016 where 10 young people expressed an interest in taking part, 7 opportunities within the Local Authority were offered and 8 young people participated, 3 enjoyed it so much they came back in 2017 to takeover other opportunities.

A partnership approach was taken in 2017 which increased the number of organisations involved and the number of opportunities by 400%.

36 professionals provided a variety of opportunities for young people to takeover, from Dudley MBC, Dudley CCG, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service, Dudley CVS, Political figures, Members of Parliament, schools, colleges and Lunch on the Run.

50 students participated in the challenge from a third of secondary schools in the borough, three colleges and a university student.

“Meeting such energised and interesting young people, who’s engagement and articulation of questions was really great” Chief Superintendent Rich Fisher – West Midlands Police

“I enjoyed talking to lots of different people about different subjects that affected young people. I also enjoyed sitting in on some meetings about things that had to do with the young people in Dudley.” Lucy Price – young person

‘This experience has reinforced our service priorities in regards to person centred planning for individual case work. It will also encourage us to consult young people regarding areas of whole service development in the future.’ – Emma James – Dudley MBC

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