Sunderland school children take over the city

Pupils from Hudson Road Primary School join the street cleaning team.
Pupils from Hudson Road Primary School join the street cleaning team.
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A TAKEOVER bid was successful on Wearside when young people took charge of the city for a day.

Pupils from schools across Sunderland took part in National Takeover Day, leaving their desks behind and going into the world of work.

Now in its seventh year, the day is aimed at providing children and young people with the chance to experience work by ‘job shadowing’ adults across a range of situations and professions.

Sunderland City Council helped co-ordinate the activities, which included training sessions with Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, visiting Southwick police station to see how officers carry out finger printing and interviews with a visit to the custody cells.

Children were also working alongside construction, maintenance and marketing teams from Gentoo and shadowing the catering team at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Lots of activities were held in schools, including pupils at Southwick Community Primary School taking on some leading rolls, including that of the headteacher, and two pupils even went to London to interview the Children’s Commissioner for England, Maggie Atkinson, who led National Takeover Day.

Other takeover activities involved helping with the planting at Bishopwearmouth Horticultural Nurseries and working in a school alongside staff to help other children understand more about issues such as cyber-bullying.

Within Sunderland Civic Centre young people were involved in everything from shadowing the deputy mayor on his official civic duties to attending a scrutiny meeting to debate school dinners.

Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith, welcomed pupils from Hudson Road Primary School to Sunderland Civic Centre and told them about the work of the council before they visited the Customer Service Centre in Fawcett Street and joined the StreetScene team to see how the city centre is kept clean and tidy.

Councillor Smith said: “I’m delighted that so many of our partners in the city such as the police, fire service, city hospital and Gentoo, joined us in supporting this national, annual event.

“We organised a wide range of activities to give our young people a taste of the adult world of work, and I hope they both learned from and enjoyed their experiences on the day.

“Young people make a massive contribution to life in our city. 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.”

Twitter: @sunechoschools