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I was a Red Cross boss for a day

23 November 2012

Young volunteer Lizzie Clark – along with 12 of her colleagues – seized an opportunity to grab the reins of power at the British Red Cross for Takeover Day.

Young carer Lizzie (17), from Solihull, already has a full plate with volunteering and studying for her A-levels, but still found time on Friday to storm the corridors of power at the Red Cross headquarters in London.

This bold insurrection was all part of Takeover Day, the annual youth revolution, when young volunteers aged 15-25 make a power-grab at schools, newspapers, parliamentary offices and even police and fire departments across the UK.

Generation insurrection

Each senior staff member at the Red Cross, from director of finance to chief executive, was given the boot for the day by these talented young people. With an average age of just 20, they already have an impressive record of volunteering and making a difference in their communities.

Lizzie became director of communications for the day, using the skills she developed successfully organising conferences for young carers. Creative, media-savvy and passionate about the social media revolution, she was excited to try her hand at running a busy communications department.

Lizzie said beforehand: “I’ve always been impressed with Red Cross media awareness campaigns, and I’m looking forward to getting involved!”

Inspiring challenge

Sir Nick Young, chief executive, wasn’t too put out about being shown the door for the day. He said: "I gladly stepped down so some of our most active and passionate young volunteers could take over and see how decisions are made at the top. We all benefit from the fresh perspectives they bring.”

For Lizzie, the experience was an inspiring and challenging one. She said: “It was an amazing experience to be part of an executive team, making decisions about the way the Red Cross operates.

“Specifically, I loved bringing new ideas to the team about social media and how to communicate with the wider public.”