Award for video giving young people a voice

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2019

Wandsworth has won a national award for an innovative recruitment video made by some of the borough’s young people.

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The video, which featured youngsters explaining what they wanted from a new director of children’s services, won the Use of Video award in the In House Recruitment Awards, beating other finalists including lottery giant Camelot, Harrods and Wagamama.

The council commissioned South West London TV to make the video, which was hosted by the council’s chief executive Paul Martin. A group of young people who attend the Devas Youth Centre in Battersea were asked by the leader of Wandsworth Council Ravi Govindia what qualities they would like to see in the new children’s services director.

Answers included the need to understand the borough’s cultural diversity, the importance of treating each young person as an individual and that they should help all children – not just those at risk, but those in danger of becoming at risk in the future,

They also stressed the need to get young mums get back into education, run clubs and groups to keep young people off the streets and look after the borough’s young people – especially those that don’t have strong and supporting parenting at home.

Paul Martin said: “I was blown away by the articulacy and honesty of these young people. It clearly showed that they want the council’s social workers, youth workers and other members and staff to provide a caring, guiding hand from birth into adulthood and help them achieve their best future possible. The insights we gained enabled us to recruit an excellent candidate, Ana Popovici, who is proving to be an inspirational and passionate leader.”

Cllr Govindia said: “It was a privilege to meet the young people who played such a critical role in winning us this award. The director of children’s services plays a key part to make a real difference to the lives of children and their families, and we felt it was important to get them involved in the recruitment process. It is great to see Wandsworth once again leading the way in how it recruits and getting the best people to work for our community.”

Wandsworth has a range of ways that the voice of young people can influence service delivery, including the Wandsworth Youth Council, the Wandsworth Children in Care Council (CLICK) and Future Voice, a forum of care leavers. Find out about support for children, young people and families on the council’s THRIVE Online website.