Published: Tuesday, 21st November 2017

Young people had the chance to take over a range of roles in the Royal Borough of Greenwich on national Takeover Challenge day (17 November).

Thirty pupils aged from 11 to 18 years old were assigned to a variety of Council departments ranging from Film and Photography to Children's Services to HR and Finance based on their interests and ambitions.

The day began with the young people meeting a senior member of staff from their chosen department at Woolwich Town Hall. They then spent the day making key decisions and attending meetings to give them an insight into the working world, while staff gained a fresh perspective on their work.

Budding lawyer Max Farnbauer even met the Leader of the Council, Councillor Denise Hyland. Meanwhile Greenwich Young People's Council live tweeted the day to show everyone in action.

Last year the Council's Takeover Challenge day won a silver award from the Children's Commissioner.

'Great experience to educate young people'

Councillor Averil Lekau, Cabinet Member for Housing and Anti-Poverty, who was shadowed by two Takeover students, said: "It was such a great experience to educate young people about what I do and how I do it.

"They were so enthusiastic and it was also very interesting to hear their ideas and opinions. It was a good day for both me and the students."

'A fantastic day'

Greenwich Free School pupil Valerie Imo, 13, joined the Corporate Communications department. She said: "It was so great to have the opportunity to take over a department, learn about what they do and have an input in some decisions and tasks. It's been a fantastic day."

'Learn from our role models'

Israel Fasuyi, 13, also from Greenwich Free School, was one of Cllr Lekau's Takeover students. He said: "Today was very educational because it allowed us to learn from our role models. It also enabled us to get a feel of the outside world."