This year’s National Takeover day took place on 11th November, in conjunction with the 90th year of Remembrance Day, and Cotswold District Council commemorated both events at its Trinity Road headquarters. .
Two young women, Kim Jenkins and Jessica Smith shadowed the Council’s Press and Media Liaison Officer, Bob McNally, and then took over the job themselves! Kim, aged 14, from Quedgley, Gloucestershire, and Jessica, aged 19, from Ascott-Under-Wychwood, Oxfordshire, soon got into the swing of things and even found time to give valuable feedback to the Council’s Head of Communications, Monica Stephens, about ideas for a new Council website and the use of social media to get messages across to the public.
Meanwhile, over in the Council’s Environmental Service, Samantha Braund, aged 13, from Dursley, Gloucestershire found out what it was like to step into the shoes of Environmental Warden, Sue Ponting, as she toured the Cotswolds getting to grips with good environmental practice. She learned how the Council tracks down fly tippers and others who litter the countryside.
CDC benefited from gaining an understanding of what might get young people more interested in the business of the Council, especially tips about communicating with their age group.
Kim commented on her day: “I really enjoyed it because it gave me a better understanding of local media and how much work and effort goes into it as a whole. There were many applicants for this opportunity , and Jessica and I were thrilled when we were chosen. ”
Jessica reflected on the job, her day and the organisation saying: “I was extremely happy when I got offered the placement as media is my passion and, hopefully, my future career in some shape or form. The day was a fantastic experience and the knowledge and understanding I gained was exactly what I wanted. The organisation is brilliant and very well run. The only thing that needs work is the website, but we have been assured that Kim and I gave them some useful advice and ideas to help them.”
Samantha was equally effusive: “It was a really exciting day and I enjoyed it very much. I didn't realise how much time and effort is put into making the enviroment clean and safe for everyone.”
Overall, all three young women enjoyed the day immensely and got a lot out of the Takeover Day.