‘‘My work experience changed my point of view on office work because I thought it would be boring but it seems fun and can be serious. It also helped me to see that college might be a good choice.’’ My day at work, by Declan Lyons, aged 15.

Declan Lyons became a member of the Leeds City Council child friendly Leeds team for the day as part of Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Day 2012. Child friendly Leeds can help your business offer valuable work experience opportunities to young people like Declan.

”On 23 November I worked as part of the child friendly Leeds team at Leeds City Council.  It was good as I enjoyed working on reception and interviewing Lauren from TD Direct Investing about the company’s work with young people in Leeds. The staff I met were really nice and gave me the warmest welcome possible.

Working at Leeds City Council for the day changed my point of view on office work because I thought it would be boring work but it seems fun and can be serious. The day also changed my opinion on college because Sara and Clare from the child friendly Leeds team helped me to see college might be a good choice. My favourite part of the day was when I interviewed Lauren.

The first question I asked Lauren was “what do you do?” She said she is PA for the finance director and CEO of TD Direct Investing. This job consists of sorting out meetings and making decisions for the boss. She has worked there for one year and really enjoys it but the only thing she doesn’t like is the canteen on Fridays when they serve fish and chips! 

More than 35 per cent of TD Direct employees get involved in one or more community or charity activities, including lots of work with young people. Lauren enjoys being part of this. She said it is rewarding because she is helping people, schools and teenagers and it also helps her achieve more in her job role. Lauren said the young people she works with benefit too because they learn team building skills and better communication skills. These skills help young people when they go to interviews because they become more confident with speaking one on one. I asked Lauren what message she would give to someone who is considering working with young people and she said ‘‘I would definitely recommend it.’’ ”

More information from Lauren about the work TD Direct do to support children and young people in Leeds:

  • We raised £64000 for charity – mostly used to support children’s charities
  • More than 35% of employees get involved in one or more activity, supporting local schools, mentoring projects and team events rejuvenating local schools
  • We have over 200 people involved in Sports Relief and 600 join us for the Fun Day, both events help to support local charities