A group of young carers from Birmingham took over the headquarters of children’s charity, Spurgeons, as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge 2016.
The three young carers from Spurgeons Birmingham Young Carers Unite spent the day working with the Spurgeons Marketing and Fundraising Team. The teens were in charge of Spurgeons’ social media platforms, blogging (read their blog here), helping to prepare for the charity’s 150th birthday celebrations as well as designing a thank you card for the charity’s supporters.
Takeover Challenge is a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England which puts children and young people into decision-making roles. Organisations and businesses benefit as they gain a fresh insight into their work by listening to children’s ideas and experience.
Maariyah, one young carer who took part in the Takeover Challenge, said: “The Takeover Challenge was a really entertaining day as it gave us an experience of working in an office and made us feel included and special. The day is an opportunity to share and discuss our own ideas with Spurgeons head office and also find out how they operate.”
Spurgeons delivers 88 projects to find long-lasting solutions to the challenges faced by children and families: including poverty, abuse problems, offending, and other social issues. At any one time, they're reaching out to over 37,000 children and young people.
Through a number of initiatives and services around the country, Spurgeons supports vulnerable children; those with a parent in prison; young carers and those young people most at risk from harm, exploitation and abuse.
Stacy Randall, Deputy Director of Children’s Services said: “At Spurgeons, we believe it is vitally important to give the children and young people we work with an opportunity to get involved. The Takeover Challenge provides a great platform for Spurgeons to gain a new perspective and for young people to learn some new skills. We really value the opinion of the young people we work with and hope the young carers enjoyed the day.”
Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England said: “We can all benefit from getting involved in Takeover Challenge. Children and young people bring fresh ideas, imagination and energy to the roles they take over, and they challenge stereotypes about them that we hear too often.
“Takeover Challenge gets people to work differently and helps individuals and organisations to understand the needs of children and young people.
“I am thrilled to see thousands of children, adults and organisations have taken up the challenge and the amazing Takeovers happening in all sectors right across the country.”
Everyone benefits from Takeover Challenge. Children and young people gain an insight into the adult world and organisations benefit from a fresh perspective of their work. This year, the Children’s Commissioner is encouraging organisations to extend their Takeover to happen anytime, any day.
Spurgeons helps vulnerable children to speak up about the things they care about and ensure their voices are heard by those who have the power to change lives.
Takeover has grown year on year – over 44,000 children took part last year. Children and young people stepped into the shoes of hundreds of high profile figures including: MP’s, mayors, TV presenters, teachers, chief executives, senior police officers and other professionals in all walks of life.