Haringey People in focus: Youth leading the way - Takeover Day at Haringey

Haringey's #SEND services celebrated a significant milestone with our first-ever Youth Takeover Day.
SEND Transport team

With Haringey's #SEND services having been awarded the highest possible rating in an Ofsted & CQC report last week, we recently celebrated a significant milestone with our first-ever Youth Takeover Day.

Young people from Elevated Youth Haringey (with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)) and Rising Green Youth Hub came into our offices for the day and assumed leadership roles including Leader of the Council, Chief Executive, Mayor, Director of Children's Services and Head of SEND.

They also collaborated in producing and designing this very article!

Sofia and Macy spent the day with the Communications team, gaining insights into various roles and shaping the design and format of this article..

My role as Leader of the Council and Chief Executive

Danielle assumed the role of the Leader of Haringey Council, Cllr Peray Ahmet, while Andrew took on the responsibilities of Chief Executive Andy Donald. Their day kicked off with a leadership meeting alongside heads of service and directors. They also met with Cllr Zena Brabazon, our Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families. This first-hand experience allowed them to gain valuable insights into the workings of the council and interact with key figures.

Danielle commented:

My favourite part of the day was meeting the councillors and a few senior staff members. I was able to gain insight into how they work, the difficulties, and the achievements.

Andrew said:

I had a fantastic day! Everyone was so kind to me, and I was supported very well. I would love to do it again.

Andrew and Danielle with the Chief Executive of Haringey Council, Andy Donald.

My role as Head of SEND

Lois joined forces with Mary Jarrett, Head of Integrated SEND, to visit the Rising Green Youth Hub. They engaged with interns in the Supported Internship Programme, with Lois conducting interviews and posing questions.

In her 'content designer' role, Lois took a close look at the Local Offer, the SEND Service's website providing information and resources for children, young people with SEND, and their parents/carers. Lois offered valuable feedback, insights, and advice during the review.

My Role as Mayor for a day 

Zakariya, the youngest member of Elevated Youth Haringey at 11, took on the role of Mayor of Haringey from Cllr Lester Buxton.

He spent the day visiting special schools and attended a citizenship ceremony at George Meehan House in Wood Green, delivering a speech to new UK citizens.

Zak as the Mayor of Haringey.

Zak said:

One of my favourite activities as Mayor was going to the different schools and seeing the special education that Haringey provides.

I also enjoyed the amazing hospitality of the mayor and his chauffeur, André.

Being the mayor was a unique, wonderful opportunity, and I was lucky to have experienced it.

I really enjoyed taking part in the citizenship ceremonies and welcoming new people into the borough.

Cllr Lester Buxton, Mayor of Haringey, expressed his enjoyment, stating:

I greatly enjoyed participating in Youth Takeover Day, handing my chains over to Zakariya as 'Mayor of the Day'. He performed exceptionally, giving speeches at citizenship services and meeting and greeting at the schools we visited.

Takeover Day is incredibly important, allowing our young people to see what goes on in the council and within the offices at our schools. Everyone who we met was outstanding in their roles.

Zak as the Mayor of Haringey, with the Mayor of Haringey, Cllr Lester Buxton, on Takeover Day.

Launched in 2007 by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, Youth Takeover Day has engaged over 40,000 children and young people.It celebrates young voices, champions their perspectives, and fosters learning opportunities and networking.

The day provides valuable experiences for young people while offering important insights and feedback to Cabinet Members and senior council staff, building a connection with the next generation of residents.

Read more fantastic features in our latest issue!

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