This month the campaign to make Leeds the most child friendly city in the country has two reasons to celebrate – its fourth birthday and the support of over 500 ambassadors.
It is almost four years since HRH The Queen visited Leeds and helped launch Leeds City Council’s bold ambition to be a truly child friendly city.
As part of their quarterly ambassador events, over 100 ambassadors and children’s services staff will be joining together on Monday to celebrate this anniversary. Leeds first direct arena will also be turning a shade of ‘child friendly Leeds’ orange on Tuesday 19 July to show their support for Child Friendly Leeds.
When: Monday 4 July at 5.20pm
Where: Cockburn School, Gipsy Lane, Leeds, LS11 5TT
Child Friendly Leeds ambassadors will be joining children’s services staff and the council’s lead members for children and families, to celebrate the fourth birthday of Child Friendly Leeds. Photos and interview opportunities will be available.
The council announced its aim to become the best place in the UK for children and young people to grow up in July 2012, and since then has seen the campaign grow from strength to strength and become a city wide partnership. The number of businesses, organisations and individuals who have pledged to support the campaign has now reached over five hundred.
Mod Pizza, who originate from Seattle in the United States, is the latest ambassador to sign up to pledge their support for Child Friendly Leeds. Mod Pizza chose Leeds as their first UK location because of the city’s ethos on ‘strong community’ and they aim to support local communities through their business.
Businesses and organisations of all sizes have declared how they will make their organisation more child friendly. These include building stronger links with local schools; arranging for staff to become mentors to young people in care through the Independent Visitors scheme; helping to promote and support foster care across their workforce and looking at how they can better involve children and young people in their organisations.
There is also a steady stream of individual ambassadors coming forward from across the city from Leeds schools, the council, the NHS and the West Yorkshire Probation service. Ambassadors help inspire others to make Leeds a better place where children are valued, supported, enjoy growing up and look forward to a bright future.
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member responsible for children and families said:
“We are really proud of how well the child friendly ethos has been embraced by the city. To have over 500 businesses, organisations and individuals pledging their support spreading the child friendly message as ambassadors is just fantastic.
“Child friendly Leeds is a far reaching concept which is about putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do. We understand that there is still a long way to go to achieve our aim to make Leeds the best city to grow up in.
“We have around 185,000 children and young people in Leeds and every one of them must have a voice and the opportunity to be involved in decisions about their city. We’ve already listened to thousands of local children and young people and are working to achieve the things that make the most difference to them.
“If we nurture and support our children today we’ll have a better city tomorrow. Everyone in our city can play their part and everyone in our city will benefit from child friendly Leeds.
“By giving our children and young people the best possible start and making Leeds the best place to grow up then we will have a sustainable, prosperous and economic future. Child Friendly Leeds is not just about doing the right thing for children it is about economic regeneration for our whole city as well.”
Jemma Morgan, Head of Marketing for Mod Pizza UK said:
“We are really excited about getting involved with child friendly Leeds, we are working on projects like "Mod Pizza Academy" and already are working with many Leeds primary schools. It's important that companies like Mod Pizza play their part in the communities that we serve and hopefully child friendly Leeds will give us new opportunities to do so."