Children and young people take centre stage when it comes to putting on the city’s prestigious annual awards ceremony which celebrates the people, places and organisations who make Leeds truly Child-Friendly.
The Child-Friendly Leeds Awards are the only city awards which are entirely planned, delivered and hosted by young people. This year will be the sixth year that the award ceremony has taken place, and they’re hoping it will be the best ever.
There are thirteen young people aged 12 –17 years old who make up this year’s awards planning group. They have called themselves ‘The Dynamics’, and hail from across the city. They attend nine different schools across the region: Allerton High, Tadcaster Grammar, Temple Moor High, Garforth Academy, Roundhay High, Leeds City College, Crawshaw Academy, Dixons Unity Academy (formally Swallow Hill) and Heckmonwike Grammar. (See biographies below)
The team have been very busy deciding on the theme for the night, and there has been a fantastic range of unique and creative ideas. The team have reached a decision, and are excited to reveal that the theme for this year’s awards is ‘Comic hero’! The dress code is anything related to comic strips or superheroes, which promises for a colourful and energetic atmosphere on awards night.
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 the front of house and backstage, and promoting the event.
The young people 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. For more information about the learning programme at City Varieties, including tours, talks, workshops and projects for schools, community groups and adults, please visit: www.cityvarieties.co.uk
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families said:
“The Child Friendly Leeds Awards are a prestigious, high profile event in our city that showcase our collective commitment to making Leeds Child-Friendly. Being part of the Planning Group for the Awards offers a fantastic opportunity for our young people to use their creativity, talents and nurture existing skills while also gaining invaluable new ones and making new friends.
“The young people involved in the Planning Group come from a variety of different backgrounds and so all bring a range of different skills and experiences 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.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the end result of what is set to be a truly ‘super’ awards ceremony.”
The Child Friendly Leeds Awards ceremony will take place in February 2019 at Leeds City Varieties and is by invitation only. It 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, and will celebrate the amazing things that individuals, places and organisations are doing to make Leeds a great place to play, live and grow up in.
Short biographies of the 6th Child Friendly Leeds Awards Young People’s Planning Group are below. Images of 11 members of the Young People’s Press Group are available on the picture carousel above.
Hi, my name is James and I am 13 years old (soon to be 14!). I like to play games on my PS4, Xbox and PC, but I also like to do presenting and broadcasting. I wanted to do this project because it fits in really well with what I want to do as a career – I hope to become a presenter when I am older. One interesting fact about me is that I have previously performed at the Carriageworks! My favourite music is pop music, I like dogs, and my favourite lesson at school is PE.
Hello! My name is Finn and I am 13 years old. I like to play wheelchair football and I also like to play on my Xbox. I wanted to get involved with the CFL awards because I enjoy presenting, and have enjoyed other things similar to this, such as helping out with my school production. My favourite lesson at school is Physics, and when I am older I want to be a Mathematician or a Physicist. One interesting fact about me is that I gave a speech at the First Direct Arena with my wheelchair football club!
Hi, my name is Marwa and I am 16 years old. I wanted to do this project because I like to get out of my comfort zone. I want to push myself to speak in front of people and as a result, gain more confidence. I like to play sports and cook different styles of food. My favourite animal is a kitten, and my favourite lesson at school is Maths. In the future, I want to be a doctor because my interest lies in helping people, and I like to study science. One surprising fact about me is that I climbed three mountains for charity!
Hello, my name is Sophia and I am 13 years old. I think that being in this group is a great opportunity for me to meet new people and come together to create something amazing. As well as being in this group, I play tennis for Whitkirk Tennis Club and do photography. I especially like taking photographs of nature. I also love to go out bike riding with my family and friends at Temple Newsam on a weekend. One interesting fact about me is that I went parachuting over the sea in France during a road trip around Europe this summer with my family. I am not sure what I want to be when I am older, I just want to see where life takes me and do what makes me happy.
Hi, I’m Rebecca and I am 17 years old. I like to write poems, stories and blogs. I also love to be around nature. I wanted to do this project because I wanted to improve my creative skills. Also, I love volunteering! My favourite lessons at school are Media Studies and English, and in the future, I would like to be a journalist. However, I think I would enjoy anything that involves Media Studies and writing! My favourite food is sushi and my favourite type of music is rap. My favourite animals are giraffes, foxes, and cats – but I have a phobia of dogs!
Hello, my name is Celine and I am 15 years old. I wanted to be involved in this year’s Young People’s Planning Group because I go to a theatre group and wanted to do more things similar. I like to make food and go out and have fun. My favourite type of music is party music and my favourite food is pizza. At school, my favourite lesson is Food Tech. In the future, I want to be a hairdresser. One interesting fact about me is that I used to do gymnastics!
Hi, I am Kelsey and I am 14 years old. I wanted to do this project because I think it will be really interesting and good fun. I like to spend time with my friends, and I also like to dance with my dance group DAZL. Every morning, I wake up at 6:30 to do a paper round! At school, I going to Life Skills class. My favourite food is pizza, and my favourite animal is an elephant. My favourite album is Astroworld by Travis Scott. When I am older, I would like to run my own shop cutting hair.
Hello, my name is Brandon and I am 14 years old. I want to take part in planning the awards this year because I want to help those around me. In my spare time, I like to read, sleep and play on my computer. When I am older I really want to be a brain surgeon or a heart surgeon! My favourite lessons at school are Art and History. My favourite animals are puppies and pandas. I think that the best music is “oldies”!
Hi, I am Megan and I am 15 years old. I like to act, play the drums, read, travel, go to theme parks, and anything that involves food! Being part of this group is a great opportunity that I couldn’t miss out on – I have never done anything like this before. My favourite music is pop or rock, depending on what mood I am in. I don’t have a favourite animal, but when I was younger, I always wanted a goat. When my mum asked me if I’d want a brother or sister – I said a goat! When I am older I would like to do something related to writing or travelling.
Hello, my name is Talha and I am 12 years old. I like to play video games, play basketball and hang out with friends. I am part of the Grand Muslim Youth Council. I wanted to do this project because I want to host the awards and help show what young people can do. My favourite lessons at school are computing and all of the sciences. I would like to be a surgeon when I am older. I like listening to Japanese Kpop and my favourite food is burgers!
Hi, my name is Safa and I am 16 years old. I joined this group because I wanted to be part of the big awards that recognise organisations and young people. I wanted to better understand the processes behind it. In my spare time, I like to take part in difference events and do presenting. I love to meet new people which is partly why I am also involved in the Leeds Youth Council and the Grand Muslim Youth Council. My favourite lesson is Biology, and I want to open up my own hospital and become a surgeon. In my life, I have won 18 medals, 2 trophies and 2 prizes.
Hello, my name is Celeste and I am 12 years old. In my spare time, I like to dance and do gymnastics. My favourite movie is a front handspring. I wanted to do this project because I like planning and organising events. One surprising fact about me is that I have lots of siblings – all together I have 5 sisters! When I’m older I want to be a judge. My favourite food is salmon and meat, my favourite music is pop and the latest charts, my favourite animals are flamingos and cats, and my favourite lesson is history and drama.
Hi, my name is Zionah and I am 12 years old. My hobbies include sports, arts and crafts, furniture art, doing makeup, spending time with family and friends, singing and lots more! I like to play rounders with my school friends, and I swim every week for fun (but I am planning on doing swimming lessons soon). I wanted to be part of this group because I wanted to explore my interest in new areas. I also wanted to increase my independence by going out and meeting new people. I hope the get the chance to choose acts to perform at the awards – I would choose acts that are different and stand out from the others!
There is still time for you to nominate the children, young people, adults, places and organisations that you know make a difference on a daily basis to making Leeds a child friendly city. There are eight award categories that you can nominate in, including a new category for 2019 called ‘Youth Group of the Year’.
To make your online nomination, please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds