Teenager Ruby takes on the mayoral chains for the day

The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Dave Tyler, with his replacement for the day, 13-year-old Ruby Norgrove, and Mayoress Barbara Tyler.

A teenager became the Mayor of Dudley for a day as part of this year’s Takeover Challenge.

Ruby Norgrove, 13, from Hagley, became the first ever non-mayor to wear the chains of office in the parlour at Dudley Council House. 

The Takeover Challenge encourages organisations across the country to open their doors to children and young people to take over adult roles. This year, in Dudley, there are 40 young people taking part over a two-week period. Nearly half of those are taking on roles at Dudley Council, including the cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Anne Millward, and deputy chief executive, Tony Oakman.

Others have taken over other prominent roles, including that of local MPs and police and fire chiefs.

Ruby, who wants to become a dog handler in the RAF after leaving school, met the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Dave Tyler, and Mayoress Barbara Tyler. The teenager, who attends Earls High in Halesowen, then accompanied the Mayor and Mayoress on their official duties for the day. They included visits to Dudley Zoo and a local primary school, and a citizenship ceremony. Councillor Dave Tyler, the Mayor of Dudley, said:

“I was delighted to hand the chains over to Ruby for the day, it’s about time I had a break! It was a pleasure to have her join us on a day of engagements to learn a bit more about what the mayor does.

“She was a lovely girl and both myself and the Mayoress wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”

The Takeover Challenge, launched in 2007 by the Children’s Commissoner, puts young people into decision-making positions and encourages organisations and businesses to hear their views. Children gain a valuable insight into the adult world and gain experience of a workplace, while organisations benefit from a fresh perspective on their work.

In the last two years alone, nearly 100,000 children have taken part – stepping into the shoes of a wide range of adult jobs including everything from MPs, mayors, TV presenters and teachers, to chief executives, business leaders and government officials.


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