Cheltenham-based national children’s charity WellChild is giving 13-year-old Scott Lewis the opportunity to become CEO for the day as part of national Children and Young Person’s Takeover Day.
WellChild, the national charity for sick children, is handing over the running of the organisation to Scott today as part of a project with Gloucestershire Young Carers.
The charity hopes to capture Scott’s experience of caring for two brothers with cerebral palsy as it prepares to launch its new strategy which is focused on the involvement and participation of young people and families.
As a young carer Scott is supported locally by the charity Gloucestershire Young Carers which supports more than 765 young carers in the county who are affected by having someone in their family who is disabled, ill, experiencing mental ill health or who is affected by substance misuse.
Taking the helm at WellChild for the day will allow Scott to chair meetings and be involved in decision-making, particularly surrounding WellChild’s communication with children, young people and families across the country.
WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Scott to WellChild for CYP Takeover Day. I’m sure we will learn a great deal from him to further inform our work with seriously ill children and their families across the UK. It is great to be working alongside Gloucestershire Young Carers who have such fantastic relationships with the children and young people they support.”
The idea of CYP Takeover Day – an initiative run by the Children’s Commissioner – is to give young people the chance to benefit from the opportunity to experience the world of work and make their voices heard, while adults and organisations can gain a fresh perspective on what they do. The hope is that this will help break down barriers between generations and encourage children's active involvement in their communities.
Ele Semadeni, Operations Lead at Gloucestershire Young Carers, says: "As a charity we are keen to offer young carers the opportunity not just to take a break from their caring responsibilities and do something that is just for them but also to have the opportunity to talk about their experiences of being a carer. We hope Scott will have a great day working with both charities and offering his point of view on the impact of having a disabled sibling in the family."
WellChild provides essential and practical support to ensure that the increasing number of seriously ill children and young people in the UK have the best possible quality of care.
The charity provides a team of WellChild Children's Nurses who work with families to ensure that children with complex care needs can leave hospital and return home and, through its Helping Hands scheme, WellChild enlists the support of volunteers to tackle practical projects in the homes of sick children. In addition, the charity has invested more than £20 million in ground-breaking children's health research projects.