The Takeover Challenge

Ormiston Denes academy

Nine students from Denes recently participated in an inter-school Takeover Challenge – a hugely successful and exciting activity for young people that sees organisations across the UK open their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles, putting them into decision-making positions and encouraging organisations to hear their views.

The academy has taken part in Takeover Challenge annually for a number of years, supported by our local council and Waveney Youth Council.

This year's challenge involved working with Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project (FRMP), funded by themselves and was sponsored by local business Lings Motorgroup, which suffered over £3.5 million damage in the 2013 floods. The FRMP is one of the most important projects happening in Lowestoft at the moment, a town that suffered severe flooding in both 1953 and 2013. One of the challenges that the team faces is communicating with local people of all ages in an engaging way.

Schools were asked to come up with their own proposals on how they could engage with people from different age groups about the project: what campaign they would come up with, who and how they would involve people, and using what medium.

The students spent time researching the project and prepared a campaign plan which included a logo,  hashtag, leaflets and other merchandise. The students decided a logo would be beneficial, so that everybody would instantly recognise something linked to the project.  They then presented their plan to a panel of judges and answered questions.

The Denes team were awarded for their great efforts by being judged as the winning project! Their prizes were certificates, a glass trophy and a cheque for £2,500 to spend on filming equipment for the academy. The students will continue to work alongside the FRMP to make their idea into reality up until the project completion in 2020.

Julie Mayo, Transition and Co Curriculum Projects Manager at the Academy said: "This has been a great project to work on, allowing the organisers to see things from a different perspective and listen to the views and ideas of young people.

"It brought a group of students together to work for a common goal, and one that will give a legacy to the Lowestoft community."