6 November 2009
It was a senior management team meeting with a difference at British Red Cross headquarters on 6 November – as board members were temporarily ousted to make way for a younger generation of decision-makers.
The unusual turn of events came about because 6 November marks the 20th anniversary of the UN convention on the rights of the child – also known as 11 Million Takeover Day. For the Red Cross, this meant promoting a bit of young blood – in this case, a selection of 16 to 25-year-olds – swiftly through the ranks right to the top table.
Throughout the UK, children and young people celebrated the occasion by temporarily taking charge of all kinds of organisations. From Cornwall to Cumbria, they seized upon a rare opportunity to test out the plush CEO leather chairs, put their feet up on some executive desks and get involved in senior decision-making for a few hours.
Young and in charge
But the budding Red Cross prime movers – include peer educators, first aiders, shop volunteers and one young member of staff – didn’t enter into this fast-track promotion entirely unprepared. The young executive stars underwent a day’s leadership training to get themselves fully motivated for the challenge.
Speaking before the event, international tracing and message service volunteer Amy Ryder (22) said: “'I'm so excited! Twelve driven and passionate young people; 12 sets of fresh experiences and ideas – and one day where we can speak straight from the top of the organisation that inspired us.
“Watch out SMT, and prepare for fireworks. This will be a board meeting, but not as you know it!”
Read our young volunteer's blog about 11 Million Takeover Day
Read our crusty old staff member's blog about the same event
Opportunities for young people
Become a first aid volunteer