YOUNGSTERS have been given an insight into local democracy as part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day.
The initiative gives young people the chance to shadow adults at work, get involved in the decision-making process and share their view and opinions on major issues with politicians and employers.
More than 200 children and young people from schools and youth organisations from across Sunderland took part in a range of events, arranged by Sunderland City Council and its partners.
Pupils got to perform civic duties alongside the Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Stuart Porthouse, and the Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran.
They also joined portfolio holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith, at a conference with Centrepoint, discussing how best to prevent youth homelessness.
Coun Smith said: “This is the eighth consecutive year we’ve been involved with Takeover Day and I’m delighted that so many of our partners in the city, such as the police, Gentoo and community organisations, help us to support this national, annual event.
“Together we have organised a wide range of activities to give our young people a taste of the adult world of work, which I hope they’ll both learn from and enjoy .
“Young people make a massive contribution to life in our city, and we need to involve them in working towards its future.
“Helping them to take part in National Takeover Day provides them with the opportunity to share their views and opinions with us, and hopefully provide a valuable insight into how we all work to provide services on their behalf.”
Children’s Commissioner for England, Maggie Atkinson, added: “The day provides a brilliant opportunity for children and young people to make a difference to their schools and communities, put their views across and challenge the stereotypes about them that we hear too often.”