On Friday 18th November County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF) took part in the Takeover Challenge 2016, which saw organisations across England opening their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles.

Takeover is a fun and successful engagement initiative which puts young people in decision-making positions and encourages organisations and businesses to hear their views. This gives children an insight into the adult world and organisations like CDCF benefit from a fresh perspective about their work.

Brandon Holloway became CEO for the day, and is a previous grant recipient who is pursuing his dream to one day opening up his own dance studio and also become a choreographer. CDCF’s support has been towards exam costs, entry fees and dance lessons. As part of Brandon’s day, he attended the unveiling of the new community room at Durham Train Station, meeting the Managing Director of Virgin Trains, the Dean of Durham Cathedral and Amazing Spaces presenter and Architect George Clarke. He then paid a visit to Cornerstone Supported Housing and Counselling Ltd in Willington to see how they are working with vulnerable young people and adults and discussed with the Senior Management team how they could inspire philanthropy in younger people. Brandon also met the Vice Chair of CDCF, David Watson who was in the office to sign off the payment run of grants to local community groups and individuals.

His itinerary was as follows:

  • 9.00 Arrival
  • 9.30 Durham Train Station for opening of Virgin Trains/Durham Cathedral Community Room
  • 10.30 Meeting with CDCF team to discuss ideas for young people’s involvement
  • 11.30 Visit to Cornerstones Supported Housing & Counselling in Willington
  • 13.00 Lunch at Café Interlude
  • 14.00 Payment run with CDCF Vice Chair
  • 14.30 Final catch up and feedback on the day with Barbara Gubbins, CDCF CEO
  • 15.00 Depart

Barbara Gubbins, Chief Executive of CDCF said: “We have really enjoyed having Brandon with us today for the Takeover Challenge; he is a real ambassador for young people in our region and he certainly made an impression on everyone he met.”

Brandon Holloway said: “Today has prepared me for the future tasks I may encounter in a work environment such as this. I now understand more about the practical side to this line of work; presenting yourself to the public is very important as CEO and I’ve learned to maintain this standard when being part of such inspiring causes. Not knowing what opportunities are going to arise on a particular day is something I would like to be part of and commit to. Knowing that every day is different is exciting.”