Youth Takeover Day 2023: Championing Young Voices

The Council recently marked a milestone with our first-ever Youth Takeover Day. We welcomed young participants from Elevated Youth Haringey - our panel of young people with SEND - and Rising Green Youth Hub. The day saw young individuals stepping into the roles of the Leader of the Council, Chief Executive, Mayor, Director of Children's Services and our Head of SEND. Additionally, they had the unique opportunity to contribute to the Spring edition of Haringey People magazine.  

Danielle and Andrew's Leadership Experience:

Danielle took on the role of the Leader of Haringey Council, representing Cllr Peray Ahmet, while Andrew stepped into the shoes of Chief Executive Andy Donald. Both had a chance to attend a leadership meeting with staff from various services and engage with Cllr Zena Brabazon, our Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Families. 

Danielle reflected on the experience and said:

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.

Cllr Peray Ahmet said: 

It was an absolute pleasure to meet Andrew and Danielle. This Takeover Day concept is definitely something we'd like to do again next year – and build upon in the future – as we continue to put children and young people at the heart of this administration. 

Macie and Sofia's Editorial Role:

Macie and Sofia became honorary editors of Haringey People magazine, helping design and shape a double-page spread for the upcoming Spring 2024 edition.

Sofia said:

I enjoyed the people; they were nice, professional, easy to approach, and not intimidating. It was fun designing the magazine, and I'd love to do it again.

Cindy, Navaeh and Lois in Children's Services:

Cindy and Navaeh, youth leadership members of Rising Green Youth Hub, spent the day in Children's Services. They saw a day in the life of Ann Graham, Haringey Council's Director of Children's Services, while also interacting with staff, including the SEND communications manager and the SEND transport team.  

Cindy said:

The thing I enjoyed the most was getting to meet the employees who make up Haringey Council, getting to know all their different roles and the effort that goes into those roles.

Lois paired with Mary Jarrett, Head of Integrated SEND at the Council, and visited Rising Green Youth Hub, meeting interns in the Supported Internship Programme. Lois also took the time to review the pages of the Local Offer, providing valuable feedback and advice. 

Zakariya's Mayoral Experience:

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, delivering his speech, and attending a citizenship ceremony at George Meehan House in Wood Green.

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.

At the end of each Takeover Day, the young participants received three certificates to give out:

  • Someone who truly understands the views of young people.
  • The person who made me feel the most welcome.
  • The person I would pick first if creating a team of my own.

Ussumane Djalo, front desk manager and security officer, was honoured with three certificates for 'the person who made me feel the most welcome.' As the first point of contact for the young people entering Alexandra House on Station Road, he played an essential role in ensuring they felt welcomed and appreciated. 

Launched in 2007 by the Office of the Children's Commissioner, Youth Takeover Day has seen the participation of over 40,000 children and young people since its inception.  

At Haringey Council, Youth Takeover Day celebrates young voices, champions their perspectives and supports access to learning opportunities and networking. The day provides valuable experiences for the youth while offering important insight and feedback to Cabinet Members and senior council staff, fostering a connection with the next generation of residents in the borough.  

Visit the Elevated Youth Haringey webpage to learn more about the panel and get involved. 

Image of a young person in professional clothing sitting in a boardroom

Andrew prepares for an important meeting.

Image of two young people sitting at a table with the chief executive of Haringey Council

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

image of 3 young people sitting at a table with cllr brabazon

Macie, Danielle, and Andrew with Councillor Zena Brabazon

Image of 4 young people with the leader of the council and cllr brabazon

From left: Councillor Zena Brabazon, Macie, Andrew, Danielle, Sofia, and Councillor Peray Ahmet, the Leader of the Council.

Image of 2 young people standing next to the SEND transport team

Cindy and Neveah with the SEND transport team.

image of two young people sitting with a woman and laughing

Cindy and Neveah with Eghele Eyituoyo, Headteacher of Virtual Schools.

image of two young people sitting with a woman and laughing

Cindy and Neveah with Eghele Eyituoyo, Headteacher of Virtual Schools.

Image of 2 young people sitting at a table with a woman

Cindy and Neveah with Ann Graham, Director of Children's Services 

image of a young person smiling

Lois reviews the Local Offer website, offering valuable feedback and ideas.

Image of a young person sitting next to a woman

Lois and Mary Jarrett, Head of Integrated SEND 

image of a young person with mayoral chain being put on them

Zak starts his day off with his own mayoral chain.

Zak in mayoral robes

Zak before delivering his speech at the citizenship ceremony with Councillor Lester Buxton, the Mayor of Haringey.

image of a man smiling holding 3 certificates

Ussumane Djalo, front desk manager and security officer, received three certificates for 'the person who made me feel the most welcome.'

image of a young person handing a certificate to the leader of the council

Sofia presents Councillor Peray Ahmet, the Leader of the Council, with a certificate for 'someone who truly understands the views of young people.'

Page last updated:

December 8, 2023