Child Friendly Leeds awards champions announced: imogen-lawrence1-855055.jpg

11 Feb 2019

Child Friendly Leeds awards champions announced


The winners of the sixth Child Friendly Leeds awards have been announced in a star-studded ceremony at Leeds City Varieties last week.

The awards, organised, planned and presented by young people, celebrate some of the people, places and organisations helping to make Leeds a child friendly city.

Just under 600 nominations came in for champion children, child friendly places, people who go the extra mile and great organisations, with the winners announced at the special event.

The awards 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.

The prestigious awards ceremony was organised by a group of 13 young people who made up ‘The Dynamics’. The young people, some as young as twelve, planned every aspect of the ceremony, from the design of the trophies and decorations, to selecting the young performers from Leeds who entertained guests on the night. The Dynamics have been supported by the City Varieties Learning Team, who have run weekly sessions to support them. The ceremony was watched by an audience of 400 people including city leaders and VIP guests.

The winners of the Child Friendly Leeds Awards 2019 are:

Child of the Year (Under 11):

Imogen Lawrence - suffered a major loss in her family and went through counselling. Through her perseverance and resilience, the rest of her school have come to learn about dealing with difficult issues.

Young Person of the Year (11–21):

John Dunwell - John had a kidney transplant a number of years ago and is now a successful sportsman. He is instrumental in fundraising so other Leeds competitors can attend the National Transplant Games.

Adult Making a Difference:

Lisa James - Lisa set up ZigZag (a support group for young people with autism and their families) and runs a community shop in Cookridge, which provides work experience and volunteering opportunities for people with autism.

Communities and Schools Working Together:

‘The Hall meets Hovingham’ dementia project - This involved pupils from Hovingham Primary visiting The Hall (a care home) with a view to raising awareness about dementia and contributing to the health and well-being of the older residents.

Youth Group:

Out 2 18 and Transtastic Youth Group- offer a safe place to meet for young people aged 13 - 25 years who identify as LGBT, and are a lifeline for them.

Inspiring Creativity Through Arts and Culture:

Life Experience- A social enterprise who support children, teenagers and vulnerable adults, by sharing real life experiences through the medium of poetry and drama, to encourage young people to avoid a life of crime and drug addiction.

Best Place in Leeds for Children and Young People:

Herd Farm Residential and Activity Centre- Herd Farm is a grade two listed converted barn transformed into a 50-bed residential and outdoor inclusive activity centre for children and young people set in 16 acres of tranquil countryside.

Overall Contribution to Making Leeds a Child Friendly City:

LandSec (White Rose and Trinity)- LandSec have provided work opportunities for young people, celebrated achievement by sponsoring Award ceremonies, run Christmas parties for foster and kinship families, and have provided family friendly toilets as well as a fantastic outdoor play space.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member responsible for children and families said:

“The Child Friendly Leeds awards ceremony was an absolutely fantastic event, which not only celebrated the people, places and organisations that make Leeds a great place to grow up, but also showcased the hugely talented young people we have in Leeds.

“I would like to congratulate all the winners, those shortlisted and all the nominees - they are shining examples of what it really means to be child friendly.

“Becoming a child friendly city is not something that we, as a council, can do alone. There are so many people and organisations across our city who share our passion for, and commitment to, being a child friendly city and these awards are a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate their great work, dedication and achievements.”

The awards were hosted by the Leeds City Varieties, sponsored by aql, Trinity Leeds, White Rose Shopping Centre, Hammerson/Victoria Gate and supported by Harvey Nichols, Marks & Spencer and First Direct Arena.

Cllr Mulherin added:

“We would not be able to hold wonderful events like the Child Friendly Leeds Awards, and celebrate all the people and organisations in our city who are helping to drive forward our child friendly ambition, without the ongoing support of our incredible business ambassadors, and our special thanks go out to all of them.

“We are always on the lookout for more businesses to join our growing network of valued ambassadors who are willing to make a pledge to help make Leeds the best city for children and young people to grow up in.”

The Dynamics chose the Child Friendly Leeds Fund as their recognised charity at this year’s Child Friendly Leeds awards. Donations to the Fund support positive learning and enrichment activities and opportunities for vulnerable children and young people – those who simply would not be able to access them without additional support. These opportunities are really important in helping to increase young people’s social skills, support their learning and build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience.

If you would like to make a donation to the Child Friendly Leeds Fund, please visit the Child Friendly Leeds website (, click on ‘CFL News’ then ‘Child Friendly Leeds Fund’.

The other shortlisted nominees were:

Child of the Year (under 11):

Victory Uzomah

Charles Thompson

Serea Bingham

Roman Pilmoor-Widd

Young Person of the Year (11–21):

Sophie Chapman

Max Greewood

Muzdalfa Ahmed

Isla Bentley

Arqam Al Hadeed

Salman Daji

Adult Making a Difference for Young People:

Mandy Craven

Chris Lake

Kerri Walker

Deborah Kenny and Katie Lamb (Carr Manor)

Communities and Schools Working Together:

P.E Partner

Karma Nirvana @ Co-Op Academy

The Students into Schools Project

The Bridge Community Church and Shakespeare Primary

Youth Group:

Autism Bricks UK

Tribe Youth Group

Youth Matters (Crossgates and Whinmoor Ward)

Kick off boys youth dance project

Inspiring Creativity Through Arts and Culture:

Tutti Frutti

Alive and Kicking Theatre Company

Northern Arts Factory

Phoenix Dance Theatre

Best Place in Leeds for Children and Young People:

Aireborough Supported Activity Scheme

Leeds MENCAP (vinery centre)


Leeds Urban Bike Park

Overall Contribution to Making Leeds a Child Friendly City:

First Direct Bank- Fiona Hill

Leeds Rhinos Foundation

Outwood Bounds Trust

Think like a Pony


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team