Today’s the day that children and young people begin to take over from the adults in some of the most powerful jobs across England. The Mayor of London, the Director General of the BBC and the head of the Metropolitan Police are just some of the hot seats being filled this year. I’m delighted that Mariam and Matthew have taken over my role as Children’s Commissioner for England and are busy making the job their own.
I thought I’d be taking a back seat myself today but Mariam and Matthew are calling the shots and have asked me to write this blog explaining what the role’s all about and the benefits of being involved.
This is the ninth year of Takeover and it’s been such a success that this year we’ve upped the stakes by extending it beyond just a single day. While today is the launch day we’ve asked the participating companies and organisations to try to involve children and young people in their everyday work on an ongoing basis. This will see more children and young people getting an opportunity to shine and more taking part and sharing their perspective with the adults they’re working with over the coming months.
It’s a win-win situation; the children benefit by gaining new skills and getting involved in making decisions that affect them. And the organisations profit from the unique take that the young people bring to the table.
Takeover Challenge also demonstrates real commitment to respect for the views of children and young people and an understanding that when adults are making decisions that affect children, children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account.
We will be featuring some of the children taking part in this year’s challenge in the press and on Twitter @CCOTakeover. And this year also sees the launch of our Up for the Challenge commendation scheme which will celebrate organisations’ participation. Those organisations will then be eligible to enter our Takeover awards which will be launched next year.
It’s not too late to get involved. All of the info you need can be found on our website and I would urge you to get on board, whether you’re a young person or an organisation.
The benefits for all are amazing. After all, you may not have had this blog if Mariam and Matthew hadn’t asked me to put it together!