City’s premier awards to celebrate all that is child friendly about Leeds

Picture caption: Cllr Judith Blake with the team of young advisors who will be organising the first Child Friendly Leeds awards.
Children and young people will be at the forefront of the first ever Child Friendly Leeds awards, which are being announced today.

Leeds City Council has handed over the reins to a group of young people aged between 10 and 19, to organise and run the prestigious awards, which will take place in January 2014.

The awards will showcase the talent, achievements and energy of the city’s children and young people, as well as highlighting and celebrating what people, places and organisations are doing to make Leeds a child friendly city.

Eighteen months after HRH Queen Elizabeth II helped launched the city’s Child Friendly Leeds ambitions at Leeds City Varieties, the venue will now host the first child friendly Leeds celebratory awards, on Thursday 30 January.

Ten young people have volunteered, through the council’s ‘young advisors’ programme to organise and run the event, and young people will also form part of the judging panel.

People across the city are now being asked to nominate the place in Leeds they think is particularly child friendly. They can also make nominations for people and organisations who make a big difference to children’s lives in Leeds.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “We have spent the past 18 months spreading the message about our ambitions to be a child friendly city so now it is time to celebrate those people and organisations who are helping us achieve that.

“Becoming a child friendly city is not something, we, as a council can do alone. There are so many people across the city who have really taken on board what we are trying to achieve and these awards are a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate their great work and achievements.”

The awards are being organised by Leeds City Council with support from Leeds City Varieties and British Gas.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for leisure and skills said: “As Chair of the City Varieties Music Hall Board I am delighted that the theatre is playing such a vital role in the Child Friendly Leeds Awards. With its extensive Learning Programme for young people and a very successful youth theatre it is a perfect venue for such an event.”

The awards will be split in to four categories:
Best place in Leeds for children and young people: This is the award for the places and spaces that children and young people love spending their time: it could be a shop, a venue, a school, a youth club or a local café that always makes children and families welcome - places across the city that set an example to others.

The Children’s Champion (under 18’s, or under 25 for young people with additional needs): This is the award to celebrate a child or young person who has done or achieved something exceptional. Whether it’s someone who makes a big contribution to their local community, or caring for a friend or loved one who needs extra support, every day our children and young people do amazing things and the council wants to hear about, recognise and celebrate their contributions.

Looking after children and young people: This is the award that recognises the people who care for, support and inspire Leeds children and young people every day. Nominees could include: a kinship or foster carer who has transformed a child’s life; a teacher who inspires the imagination of their pupils; or a parent who has done something incredible for their children. The awards will celebrate what adults do every day for individuals and groups of children that make growing up in Leeds a magical and nurturing experience.

Best overall contribution to making Leeds a child friendly city: This is the award for the business, organisation, team or individual that has shown true commitment and made a meaningful contribution to making Leeds the best UK city to grow up in. It could be a business with an exemplary apprenticeship programme, a school that has made a major contribution to improving the local community, a sports club that welcomes and celebrates children and young people, or a team from a public sector organisation that demonstrates outstanding results by improving outcomes for children. The councils wants to hear about the numerous activities and initiatives across Leeds that give children and young people opportunities, inspiration and optimism for the future.

People who wish to nominate can visit: http://childfriendlyleeds.wordpress.com/nominate


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk