Youngsters take the lead in planning citywide awards: teamten2.jpg

26 Oct 2017

Youngsters take the lead in planning citywide awards

Awards Planning


Children and young people take centre stage when it comes to putting on the city’s prestigious annual awards ceremony which celebrates the people who make Leeds truly child friendly.

The Child Friendly Leeds Awards are the only city awards which are planned, delivered and hosted by young people.

This year marks the fifth birthday of Child Friendly Leeds so this year’s planning group have got a challenge on their hands to make the next ceremony, which is being held on 1 February 2018, the best ever.

There are ten young people aged 12 – 18 years old who make up this year’s awards planning group. They have called themselves ‘Team Ten & Co’, and hail from across the city. They attend seven different schools across the region: Temple Moor High, Cockburn High, Allerton Grange High, Harrogate Grammar School, Abbey Grange C of E High, Farnley Academy and Notre Dame 6th Form College. (See biographies below)

The team have already been busy deciding on the theme for the night and have chosen ‘Party Through the Decades’ - attendees will be encouraged to dress-up in party outfits from the 20th and 21st Centuries.

Every year a different group of young people work together with the City Varieties’ Learning Team to plan, organise, present and run the prestigious event. This includes script writing, selecting performers, operating the lights and sound, supporting front of house and backstage, and promoting the event.

The group attend weekly planning sessions between September and January, and get lots of support from Child Friendly Leeds and the learning team at Leeds City Varieties.

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

“Being part of a planning group for such a prestigious, high profile event is an amazing opportunity for these young people. It is a chance to use their creativity, talents and existing skills as well as learning new ones which will last a lifetime.

“The young people come from all walks of life with different skills and experiences so they all bring something different to the team. Young people who have taken part in previous years have told us what a difference it has made to their confidence and aspirations – once you have planned a spectacular event like this, you can do anything.”

Next year’s awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 1 February at Leeds City Varieties and will be the culmination of activities and events to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Child Friendly Leeds. The event will be attended by VIPs from across the city and will showcase the talent, achievements and energy of the city’s children and young people. It will also celebrate the amazing things that individuals, places and organisations are doing to make Leeds a great place to play, live and grow up in.

For more information about the learning programme at City Varieties, including tours, talks, workshops and projects for schools, community groups and adults, please visit:

A short video of Team Ten & Co. can be found here:

Short biographies of the 5th Child Friendly Leeds Awards Young People’s Planning Group:


Hi, my name is Aimee. I am currently 13 as I write this but at the upcoming Awards ceremony which will take place in February 2018, I will be 14 years old. I sing, I dance and I love to write deep and developed stories. I sing and dance in all my school performances. Being part of this group helps to build my confidence and self-esteem within myself and in front of others. These types of opportunities don’t come up that often at school and so it is unique and very special. I am looking forward to meeting new people and socialising with other teens who are passionate about the same kinds of things as me.


Hi, I’m Alanah. I’m confident and just love putting myself out there … travelling and trying new things! In the past I’ve been on ITV’s Bear Gryll’s Survival School and I love to perform on the ukulele, guitar and whatever else. Planning the Awards is about meeting new people, experiencing new things and it seems to be jam packed with the things I love. I think it’s going to be a unique experience! The skills I bring to the group are: helping create a sense of togetherness, positivity, drive, dedication and some sort of leadership. I am also a good talker (according to my grandad) and a good listener!


Hi, my name is Arqam, I am 16 years old and I am a member of Leeds Youth Council Working Group. My job is not just to represent Leeds Youth Council but to represent every single young person in Leeds. I’m very passionate about my role as it allows me to give voice to the voiceless youth of Leeds. I love interacting with young people and helping to solve any difficulties they’re facing. The skills and qualities that I think I will bring to the group are: confidence, hosting experience, smart personality and great communication skills. The Awards are a great opportunity that I don’t want to miss out on!


Hi, I am Eleanor and I am 13 years old. I moved to Leeds 5 years ago and found out about the Child Friendly Leeds Awards Planning Group through my Drama teacher. I am so excited to be part of this amazing opportunity and can’t wait to see how this turns out. This will give me great opportunities and new friends. I love music and theatre and am very passionate about it. I play the piano and am learning to play the guitar. I take part in two extra-curricular clubs: African drumming and pop choir. I have previously taken part in two school productions of Hairspray and We Will Rock You. I wanted to be part of the young people’s planning team as I would like some experience in working with new people and working in a team. The qualities that I can bring the group are: I am organised, punctual, helpful, a good team player, a great listener, respect other’s idea and like to make everyone happy.


Hi, my name is Hannah and I am 12 years old and I am in Year 8 in a Leeds school. I was first introduced to the Child Friendly Leeds Awards when I was the Leeds Children’s Mayor in 2016. The Awards sounded great as they give young people an opportunity to have their voices heard. I hope to gain friends, work experience and have an overall fun time with new people. Performing and hosting on the night was my main reason for signing up – I think I am bubbly and confident which will help make the audience feel welcome. I am also really keen and passionate to develop my event management skills in the run up to the Awards.


Hello my name is Maddie. I am a 13 year old girl with a passion for music and drama. I enjoy the aspect of performing and I will also enjoy helping to plan our upcoming Awards ceremony. I am interested in designing themes and creating interesting props and posters as well as presenting and choosing the acts who’ll perform on the night. I will be fully committed and involved with the rest of the young people in our group who are on the same mission as me: to plan an exciting and memorable night for all the people living in Leeds!


Hi, my name is Malaika and I am 12 years old and I was born in Leeds. I have been a student and Race Equalities councillor in my last year at primary school. I am energetic, optimistic and full of ideas. I would like to be involved with working on social media in the run up to the Awards and believe I can help to get messages across to other young people effectively. I would like to be a presenter at the Awards because I enjoy performing and played the lead role in a school production of Alice in Wonderland. I enjoy being on the stage and have experience of learning lines and find it comes quite naturally to me. I want to be part of the Young Person’s Planning Group because I want to show what we’re capable of doing and for kids to get the chance to plan this event is an amazing idea.


Hi, my name is Oscar and I like to do drama. I’m 12 and go to a school in Leeds. I’ve been on the radio several times. I’ve been to the Child Friendly Leeds Awards before and I think they offer a fun chance for young people in the city to get involved and help make Leeds a better place. I would like to learn about event management and I am interested in presenting at the Awards. I am also a bit of a whiz at social media. I have loved going to the previous Award ceremonies and have always wanted to be on the planning team.


Hi, my name is Sharandeep and I am 18 years old. I am currently doing my A Levels at a 6th Form College in Leeds. I am a DJ and have set up my own business as a freelance DJ. I get gigs around the city, playing at charity events and venues such as the Wardrobe, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Trinity Leeds and the Civic Hall. My hope for the future is to go to university next year and study geography so that I can become a worldwide DJ! I am interested in helping with the marketing of the Awards and this would be of benefit in the long term in running my business. I love starting a project and watching the finished result. I’ve also worked with Getaway Girls for the last four years as a peer educator and helping to make the younger women feel comfortable. I feel this would be a skill that I could bring to the Awards planning group and I could help support members whom maybe shy.


Hi, my name is Xsara and I am 14 years old and attend an Academy in Leeds. I helped organise the Young People’s Takeover Festival in the summer at City Varieties. My favourite subjects are Business Btec, Health and Social Care, Drama and Music because I would like to be a journalist. I love being part of the young people’s planning group and to have the opportunities that being involved in the show offers. The qualities and skills that I hope to bring to the group are: leadership, fun, excitement, different ideas, organisation, maturity and helpfulness!


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Leeds City Council Communications team