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Fresh ideas and energy on Youth Takeover Day

Posted on Friday 30th November 2018
Almost 20 young people joined us for the Takeover Challenge and participated in activities like DJing

Shanaya and Stephen taking over Radio Lollipop

In November, almost 20 young people, including patients and students from Sacred Heart secondary school in Southwark, were given the opportunity to take over Evelina London.

The Takeover Challenge is a national event led by the Children’s Commissioner for England, which gives young people the chance to shadow jobs, get involved in decision making and offer their opinions on key issues.

Activities at Evelina London included a takeover of radio station, Radio Lollipop, with young people taking song requests from patients and interviewing staff.

Shanaya Hamilton, 15, a pupil at Sacred Heart, took part in the Radio Lollipop takeover. She said: “Being able to DJ and speak directly to patients’ on the hospital’s wards was a lot of fun. Patients were sending us their song requests and we were able to play their favourite songs.

“I feel really inspired by the Takeover Challenge. The staff at Evelina London were really lovely to us and spent lots of time discussing their roles and explaining how the hospital is run.”

Young participants also spent the day shadowing the communications team and were able to tweet updates from the event using Evelina London’s official Twitter account.

As part of the communications takeover, 15-year-old Evelina London patient Katie Braybrook interviewed Sacred Heart student Stephen Fajemilusi. Katie asked him what he enjoyed most about the day. Stephen said: “I really enjoyed meeting the staff and finding out about their roles and hearing about the many different jobs that you could do at a hospital. I didn’t realise that there was so much more to a hospital than just doctors and nurses. The whole day was really fascinating and enjoyable.”

Young people were also invited to pitch ideas for the Evelina London 150 birthday celebrations next year to a “Dragon’s Den” panel made up of senior staff.

Janet Powell, director of nursing, said: “We were delighted to take part in the Takeover Challenge. All of the young people should feel really proud of themselves for sharing their ideas and contributing to how Evelina London is run.

“It’s really important that the services we run meet the needs of our young patients, and that we are supporting our local community. Taking part in the Takeover Challenge is a great way of ensuring that we’re doing that. We want young people to know that their views and ideas can and do make a real difference.”

The day finished with a special celebration event where young people were presented with certificates.

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