Croydon’s Takeover Challenge – giving young people a unique chance to shape their borough by taking on the roles of local leaders – returned this year with more positions on offer than ever before.
With 93,000 under-18s, Croydon is home to more young people than any other London borough and local leaders stepped aside yesterday (Thursday) to give some of them the chance to step into their shoes.
This year 56 young participants aged between 11 and 18 took over 26 different roles helping to run the council, police, the newly-reopened Fairfield Halls and other organisations.
“In Croydon we are privileged to have more young residents than anywhere else in London.
“Our award-winning Choose Your Future campaign encourages them to raise their voices on the issues that matter to them, and supports them to make positive life choices and follow their dreams.
“Takeover Challenge goes to the heart of this – it gives them the chance to come in and shape decision-making, and it is great for their confidence and CVs.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
One of this year’s participants was Rafaela Barbosa Tramontin who took over the role of Councillor Alison Butler, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services.
Rafaela spent the day meeting council officers and talking to them about their roles and working with external groups and learning more about how the council works and what it can offer young people.
The 15-year-old said: “My friend first mentioned the Takeover Challenge to me. I didn’t really know what the council was but I thought this could be a good opportunity.
“I’ve really enjoyed it and I’ve learnt a lot. I would say to anyone thinking about taking part that it isn’t one day. The Takeover Challenge could really help you with what you want to do with your life.”
Councillor Alison Butler said: “Takeover Challenge is a fantastic opportunity. It’s inspiring to see young people like Rafaela engaged and passionate about their communities and hear their ideas on how we can improve the way we work.”