Northumberland Teens Take Over Council Duties

Young people from around the county have been taking over duties  at Northumberland County Council as part of the national Takeover Challenge.
The challenge, led by the Children’s Commissioner for England, aims to  give young people an  insight into the adult world of work and put them in decision-making roles.
Thirty pupils from high schools across the county spent the day working  with the Northumberland Adolescent Service and primary mental health workers,  giving their perspective on mental and emotional health issues affecting young people. They  were also  taught skills by mental health professionals which included strategies to manage stress and anxiety and boost happiness and self-esteem.
Another group of pupils joined the youth service for the day and worked on marketing material to communicate with young people. They also put their creative talents to good use  by turning written  policies, relevant to young people, into pictures and posters to make them more engaging.
Councillor Robert Arckless, cabinet member for children’s services at Northumberland County Council said:
“Young people make a massive contribution to life in our county  and we always gain a fresh insight into our work  by listening to their ideas and experiences.

“ Those who joined us for the Takeover Challenge  took on their roles with enthusiasm and skill and hopefully learnt a lot about how we work and the day-to-day decisions we face as a council.  It was  an excellent day that created some real energy and fun and we had some great feedback which will help us improve the delivery our services.”
Tracy Cole, Health Improvement Practitioner Specialist with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said:
“ Takeover Day was  a huge success and provided  an excellent opportunity to gain young people’s views on  the work that we do around emotional health.They all did incredibly well as
It is often a difficult subject to talk about.
“ We had a number of young people tell us that  they feel the skills they learned will really make a difference in how they cope with difficult emotions and that the work we are doing in this area will help a lot of others too. ”
Children's Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield added:  " 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.
“ The 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."
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