Shortlist revealed for the 2020 Child Friendly Leeds Awards: emilynelsondiscoverycentre.jpg

06 Jan 2020

Shortlist revealed for the 2020 Child Friendly Leeds Awards


The names of the people, places and organisations shortlisted for the seventh Child Friendly Leeds awards have been revealed.

The annual awards ceremony will take place on 6 February this year, and will celebrate all the hard work that is happening across the city to make Leeds the best place for children and young people to grow up in.

Planning for the awards has been carried out by a group of ten enthusiastic and dedicated young people, ‘Tentastic Productions’, who have been meeting at Leeds City Varieties each week to make all the important decisions on the organisation and running of the event. The group revealed the theme of ‘Space’ for the awards, which promises for an awards ceremony that is out of this world.

There are eight categories presented at the Child Friendly Leeds Awards, each with five shortlisted nominations.

Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council executive member for children and families, said:

“It was overwhelming the number of nominations we received this year, reflecting the continuous hard work that goes on across the city, by people, places and organisations, to make Leeds a child friendly city.

“It’s great that while we have this opportunity to celebrate this work through the Child Friendly Leeds Awards, the fact that the whole event is planned and organised by a group of young people from the city makes it even more special.”

The awards are hosted by Leeds City Varieties and this year seven business have sponsored the awards, including: aql; White Rose Shopping Centre; City Varieties Music Hall; Victoria Leeds; Trinity Leeds; Harvey Nichols; and First Direct Arena. Their commitment shows the continued dedication from the Child Friendly Leeds ambassador network.

Media opportunity

When: Thursday 6 February 2020 7pm (doors open at 6pm)

Where: Leeds City Varieties Music Hall, Swan St, LS1 6LW

The ceremony begins at 7pm and there will be an opportunity to film, photograph and interview the winners from around 8:30pm. Filming and photography during the awards ceremony and performance is also permitted.

Spaces are limited so please contact to arrange attendance.

Here are the shortlisted nominations for the eight categories:

Child of the year (under 11)

Darren Brown has taken part in a football project, but initially struggled with his patience due to ADHD. Through working with youth workers, Darren put in place his own coping strategies to manage this. He has now helped out at many summer projects, and his very positive attitude has set a good example to his peers.

Layla Newby donated ten inches of her hair to be made into a wig for another child with hair loss. She has also gained sponsorship for a local charity, Elliot's Footprint, which supports those experiencing the sudden loss of a child. She has a strong desire to support and help others.

Lee Newton is a dedicated individual who gives up considerable amounts of time to help his school; such as arriving early to help teachers and other children, and working with the superintendent to keep the school safe. He is also part of the school mental health ambassador’s team, who train to support people who are struggling.

Ollie Brown volunteered at a 6-week ‘eat on the street’ project, packing and distributing food parcels. Ollie included all the young people that attended, and provided entertainment by singing for everyone! This put a smile on everyone's face and really brought the community together. Ollie is a lovely kind hearted boy who is always smiling.

Theo Etheve has severe allergies to various foods. Over the holidays he decided he wanted to raise some money to allow his school to buy an Epi-Pen to use in emergencies. Of his own accord, he has made keyrings out of recycled crisp packets to sell at playtime and lunch time. He has shown great initiative in his fundraising.

Child of the year (11-21

Danny Hirst was born with a hole in his heart. In 2016, he had a mechanical valve fitted. He has fundraised for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund ( in many ways such as; organising a ‘Wear Red Day’, taking part in ‘Superhero Walks’, doing a 10-storey building abseil, and persuading his mum to jump out of a plane!

Arqam Al-Hadid has overcome many barriers since moving to the UK from Kashmir. He learned fluent English and went on to being elected as the youth Member of Parliament for Leeds. He has won national awards, spoken at national and international events, in front of key decision makers in the UK Parliament. Arqam has always embraced his differences and has inspired many other young people to do the same.

Brianna Page gives up her weekends and school holidays to help teach dance classes. She has overcome her own confidence issues, and helped younger children to perform. She is also a young carer who supports her mum who has physical disabilities, and her sister who has autism. She is an inspiration.

Michael Bottomley has put an exceptional amount of effort into fundraising for Headway, a charity who supported Michael’s family following his step-dad’s stroke, Team Sunshine Sam, in support of a Leeds child with cerebral palsy, and the Firefighters charity. He also ran an anti-dog-fouling campaign in his community.

Lanre Adelye organised and hosted a charity event in memory of an individual who passed away in the Manchester attacks, and raised £400 for their memorial trust. He is in the process of organising a second event for another victim of the attacks. He has involved other local young people by inviting them to perform.

Youth Group of the Year (up to 25)

YouthWatch Leeds are a group of around 30 motivated volunteers aged 14-25, who dedicate their time to improving health and social care services for children and young people in Leeds. They have worked on a range of topics, such as Mental Health and young people’s rights in the NHS, and made important recommendations for improvement.

The Tribe Youth Group offers opportunities to develop skills and confidence through the I am Me project with Beyond Inspired whilst making a positive contribution to the community with projects including Buddy Bags, community clean ups, and food collections. They have also encouraged local businesses to give up single-use plastic.

Leeds Youth Council Working Group dedicate their free time every month to work in partnership with services and decision makers across Leeds to ensure young people are shaping and influencing strategies, policies and programmes. They created the campaign ‘MYnd MATES’ to improve the mental wellbeing of young people in Leeds.

Leeds Art Gallery Youth Collective are passionate about creating inclusive and accessible art workshops for young people in Leeds. They work hard to create a safe place of sanctuary to enable all young people feel at home at the gallery. The group thrive on delivering events and workshops which contribute to the city's cultural offer.

1st Manston Guides are an active group of girls from East Leeds who are passionate about important issues such as reducing single plastic use. They have also helped in the local community and at church events. They are participating in positive activity in their communities which is improving their life skills and confidence.

Adult making a difference for young people (21+)

Libby Tinworth works tirelessly to create a sense of well-being and community for care experienced young people in south Leeds. She has been co-leading the ‘South Group’, helping to combat social isolation. Libby herself is an 'expert by experience' and uses her expertise to shape services to support care experienced young people in developing social networks and living more effectively.

Lia and Karl (Buttercup Lane Childminders) are not only childminders who care for children as if they are their own – they invest their own time in creating memorable experiences for local children. They encourage active and healthy lifestyles and inspire creativity through schemes including the East Ardsley fairy door trail, the East Ardsley rock initiative and a little library installation.

Jamie Hutchison created Studio12 - creating avenues into work for disadvantaged young people aged 16-30 by providing free access to a production studio and training. Jamie broadened the horizons of young people in Leeds by campaigning to bring Channel4 to the city and producing a bid film that won the hearts of the broadcaster’s bosses.

Daniel Pollock works as Head of Year 11 at Cockburn John Charles School. He reaches out and supports vulnerable students by acting as a source of constant trust. Daniel is unafraid to challenge discrimination in his pursuit to support all his students and is often the voice for them in a variety of challenging situations.

Rebecca Coyne is a pillar of the Sutton Park community, running a street-based youth work project and delivering a Community Ambassadors Programme (CAP). CAP inspires young people to 'give back' to their local area - keeping the community tidy, feeding families in school holiday times and securing funding for the benefit of their peers.

Communities and Schools working together

Let's Read aims to improve learning and achievement for children, increasing their future educational and employment opportunities. Manager Gail oversees a programme of recruitment, training and support for volunteers from businesses and local communities, enabling the project to provide schools with support for children who are falling behind with their reading and literacy skills.

Gypsy Roma Traveller Outreach and Inclusion Team provides support and guidance to families, ensuring their children are ready for learning. They do this by facilitating a number of drop-in’s and sessions in the community such as ‘Fresh Start’ which help EU migrant children improve their confidence and prepares them for the British school system.

Horsforth Walk of Art festival engages local pupils in creative activities and encourages them to make their mark on the community. Artists give their time freely to visit schools and work with young people in order to expose them to creative processes they may otherwise not have the opportunity for.Www.horsforth-woa.orgFacebook: @horsforthWalkOfArtInstagram: horsforthwalkof_artTwitter: @walkof_art

Knife Crime Project brought together various partners to create a performance exploring the dangers of knife crime, inspired by the spring 2019 UK Youth Parliament work in Leeds. This was shown to hundreds of school pupils with the aim of raising awareness, provoking conversation and deterring young people from carrying knives.

Discovery Centre and Roundhay School delivered a six week programme for children in care to explore the power of artefacts to engage children in their learning. As part of the programme the children curated their own mini exhibition, entertaining parents, carers and staff from the school.

Inspiring creativity through Arts and Culture

Made with Music provide engaging music activities for children and families in a welcoming space. They ensure opportunities are fully accessible for all children and use a child-centred approach. The charity hosts music making classes, live gigs and intergenerational sessions as well as working with partners across the city to design and deliver music activities.

Northern School of Contemporary Dance alongside its Higher Education provision Northern School of Contemporary Dance (NSCD) provides a safe space for local young people to express their creativity, learn new skills, perform and reach their potential. Children of all backgrounds develop confidence and ability in an inclusive and non-judgemental setting.

South Asian Arts UK for over 20 years South Asian Arts-UK has focused on celebrating South Asian classical music and dance, enriching people's lives through engagement and participation in the traditional and contemporary. Their small but dedicated team believes every child deserves access to a quality music and/or dance education.

Stitch-Up provided free summer craft workshops over the school summer holidays for children aged 8+. Young people learned skills such as weaving, pom-pom making, cross stitch, felting, finger knitting and much more. The team worked hard to make each child feel included and welcome, ensuring activities appealed to all abilities.

Wrongsemble is a theatre company made up of professional artists and practitioners who specialise in working with and creating work for young people, schools and families. They provide free entry for Refugee and Asylum Seeker Families and place accessibility and diversity at the heart of everything they do.

Best place in Leeds for children and young people

Leeds Weekend Care Association provide short breaks for young people with additional needs, who often experience isolation. By offering a space where their needs are welcomed and met, LWCA reduce feelings of isolation, which improves mental health and wellbeing. They have an extremely positive impact on the young people they work with.

Little Hiccups have provided a place for young people with disabilities and their families to meet and share experiences. Founded by parents who have children with disabilities they recognised the need for such a group from personal experience, the group has grown to provide invaluable support and opportunities to many families across the city.

LS-TEN is run by volunteers, who encourage and support all ages to engage in sports for the benefit of their mental and physical health. They run specialist sessions for females and marginalised genders, adult beginners, those with disabilities, under 8s and more. The staff go above and beyond to make it a calm, quiet, safe place for all.

Seacole Scheme provides supported accommodation for 16-25 year olds. They offer incredible support and advice to those living there, which ensures they feel ready to move on to the next steps in their lives. Through their non-judgmental support, they have helped to turn many young people’s lives around.

Beanstalk Nursery is a small family run nursery in one of the most deprived areas of Leeds. They have never asked parents for any financial contributions. This means that the daily meals, fruit and vegetables, art supplies and experiences are all provided by the nursery. Many children have thrived here.

Overall contribution to making Leeds a child friendly city

Health for All is a charity whose mission is to enable the poorest and most vulnerable people and communities to overcome the challenges of health and social inequality. Health for All achieves its mission by investing in warm welcoming community spaces and person-centred services rooted in the hearts of local communities.

The Outward Bound Trust play an important role in enabling some of the most vulnerable young people to have access to their life changing summer residential programmes and opportunities that without financial assistance would not be possible. Those who take part gain important life skills and take away lasting memories and friendships.

Skelton Grange offer educational visits for schools and groups, holiday activities for disadvantaged groups of children, seasonal activity days for childminders, support people to volunteer in conservation and education, and provide training and fun events for families. The whole environment lends itself to discovering nature, learning to take care of the world and its creatures, and getting away from screens and technology.

aql (Adam Beaumont) have been a leading ambassador for CFL for many years now. Adam has supported in many ways, including providing event space and hosting events to raise awareness of issues. He has supported the CFL Awards for three years and has become the seed funder for the CFL fund.

Central Yorkshire Scouts whilst delivering Skills for Life to 7500 young members Central Yorkshire Scouts also provide enrichment opportunities for children growing up in foster and kinship care arrangements. For example, their incredible annual scout and beaver one day events which encourage exploration, adventure, challenge and enjoyment. They overcome accessibility issues and ensure inclusivity by offering a free minibus service to their events.

For more information please visit the CFL awards page on the Child Friendly Leeds website

Notes to editors

Now available for interview:

Emily Nelson, pictured above, from the Discovery Centre delivered a six week programme for children in care to explore the power of artefacts to engage children in their learning. As part of the programme the children curated their own mini exhibition, entertaining parents, carers and staff from the school.

Tel: 0113 53 50469


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For media enquiries contact:

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