Young people ‘take over’ local NHS Trust

by CWP News - 04 December 2015

This year’s Takeover Challenge proved the perfect opportunity for young people from a local NHS Trust to get stuck in and get their hands dirty.

The Takeover Challenge is an extension of Takeover Day, an annual event run by the Children’s Commissioner for England where organisations host young people to ‘take over’ staff roles for the day.

This year, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) held a full day of events, involving young people from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) across the Trust footprint.

Young people from Maple Ward, Bowmere Hospital and Pine Lodge in Chester donned hard hats and hi-vis jackets for a full site tour of the state of the art CAMHS build, due to open next year. Young people have been involved in all aspects of the project and also took part in painting the mock bedroom, which is an on-site demonstration of how the 30 bedrooms will look when finished.

Leading the tour was Dan Allmark, Head of Capital and Property Management at CWP, Chris Tonge, Villicare LLP General Manager and Steve van den Hoek, Project Manager from Eric Wright Construction. They have welcomed young people using CAMHS services along to the site for several visits to get a feel for how the build is coming along, and welcomed the opportunity to be taken over.

Chris says, “It was great to see the level of interest and interaction from all of those involved in the Takeover Day. I think that we got as much out of the day as the young people who came to site.  There is a great commitment from the Trust, Villicare, and wider Project Team to engage as much as possible with the young people from the CAMHS service – it is, after all, their building!” 

Young people involved on the day were left inspired by the events, and commented, “The Takeover Challenge was a really fascinating day and taught me lots of new skills. It was interesting to see what happens on a building site and I found out about lots of new careers. It was a productive day that captured me.”

“It was great to do something completely new and was interesting seeing how much the new build has come on since first being involved and to see that the designers and everyone have listened to what we have had to say.”

In the afternoon, CAMHS staff and young people got together at Cheshire View to share their best practice in involvement and participation, before grilling a panel of senior leaders about their plans for the future of CAMHS services. The panel included Sheena Cumiskey, chief executive, Andy Styring, director of operations and Liz Matthews, associate director of patient and carer experience.

Sheena said: “The day is fun and enlightening and certainly brings the views of different generations together to get a better rounded perspective on things. The Takeover Challenge gives young people the chance to work with adults, to experience the world of work and make their voices heard, while us adults gain a fresh perspective on what we do and how we do it.”

Follow @CWPNHS on Twitter to see photos from the day and join the conversation using #TakeoverChallenge

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