Takeover Day 2019 – Giving young people the opportunity to get involved in democracy

02 December 2019

40 young people from across Hertfordshire were given the opportunity to create their own policies and make their own manifestos, thanks to this year’s Takeover Day.

The annual Takeover Challenge, a national initiative led by the Children’s Commissioner, saw young people from across the county taking part in a full day of activities which provided a valuable insight into democracy and the democratic process.

The Takeover Challenge was coordinated by YC Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council’s targeted youth service.

The aim of the day is to develop young people’s understanding of democracy and how this works in the UK. Historically, those aged 18-24 have been the lowest turnout of voters in a general election. Supporting young people to understand the voting process and how to decide who to vote for will hopefully encourage those who may not previously engaged in elections to vote. At the end of the day young people presented their manifestos and all participants took part in a mock election. Young people also participated in the annual HCC budget survey to voice their opinions on how the council spends its money.

This year participants included young carers, children in care, young people with additional needs, and members of Herts1125 Forum including Young Commissioners, members of youth councils and the LGBT+ strategic group Who Not What.

Director of Children’s Services Jenny Coles said: “Takeover Day is a great opportunity to get young people involved in the services which affect them. It gives them a real understanding of the democratic process and how important it is to take an active interest in local government.”