'Inspiring' care worker enjoys day at the top of county council - The Rugby Observer

'Inspiring' care worker enjoys day at the top of county council

AN ‘INSPIRING’ care leaver from Sudan who came to Warwickshire as a ‘scared and alone’ asylum seeker took to the hot seat when he spent a day as Chair of the county council.

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) Family Support Worker Umar Teerab took control when current Chair, Coun Dave Humphreys, stepped aside for the day.

Umar has been an avid supporter of care leavers since starting his apprenticeship with Warwickshire County Council in 2018.

Now, as a Family Support Worker, Umar understands the challenges young people face and is in a position to help support them to ensure their voices are heard.

And since taking on his role, he has shown an interest in how local authorities work – so becoming Chair of the Council for the day was a unique opportunity which was too good to be missed.

The Chair is the civic and ceremonial head who is there to represent the council at formal and informal meetings, ensure discussions are carried out in accordance with the council’s constitution and procedural rules, and make sure meetings are run effectively and inclusively, in line with any agreed agenda.

Umar was accompanied by Coun Humphreys to the Shipston Town Council Annual Civic Service at St Edmunds Church. Following the service, he attended a reception event where spoke to members of the community to explain his role and his expectations for the day.

They then travelled to Rugby to the High Sheriff of Warwickshire Event and Church Service at St Andrews Church, and were joined by High Sheriff David Kelham for a tour of local environmental improvements including the Rotary Club of Rugby’s Great Central Walk Project.

At both events, Umar acted as the civic and ceremonial head of the council wearing the ceremonial chain – an opportunity Umar said was one to be remembered.

He said: “As someone who has been welcomed into Warwickshire, I felt that I wanted to give something back. The events enabled me to do just that, and the Chairman was really supportive talking me through what I needed to do for the role.

“However, he not only made me look like the Chair, but he also went out of his way to make me feel like the Chair, when he introduced me to people at the events. It really was an incredible experience and one I’m happy to have had the opportunity to do.”

Coun Humphreys said it was an honour to spend the day with Umar.

He added: “He is an inspiring young man who came here as an unaccompanied asylum seeker scared and alone. Warwickshire has a proud history of welcoming refugees from across the globe and we know that our role extends beyond providing a warm welcome.

“In Umar’s case, we have been delighted to help him build an incredibly productive life in the county. He is now supporting care leavers as a Family Support Worker. He really is an amazing person.

“I would like to thank Umar for the excellent job he did. I hope he will take many happy memories away and be proud of the role he continues to play supporting young people across Warwickshire.”

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