Youngsters sought to plan prestigious awards

Leeds, Leeds Star

There is a ‘call out’ across the city for young people aged 11 – 19 years to join the team who will plan and present next year’s Child Friendly Leeds awards.

The Child Friendly Leeds Awards recognises the young people, adults, places and organisations that are helping to make Leeds a fantastic city to grow up in.

The awards ceremony, to be held at Leeds City Varieties on 2 February 2017, will be attended by leaders from around the city and will celebrate everything child friendly in Leeds. The awards showcase the talent, achievements and energy of the city’s children and young people and celebrate what individuals, places and organisations are doing to make Leeds a great place to play, live and grow up in.

Leeds City Council is looking for twelve Leeds young people aged 11 – 19 years (or 25 with additional needs) to plan and deliver the child friendly Leeds awards 2017. The group will be assisted by Leeds City Varieties Learning Team, who have many years of experience of supporting projects such as this. The weekly sessions will take place on Thursday evenings, 4.30 – 6pm from October 2016 – February 2017 in the centre of Leeds.

The child friendly Leeds awards are unique in that every year a different group of young people are at the heart of them. They each have a bespoke role but work together as a team on all aspects of planning, organising, presenting and running the awards, including script writing, operating the lights and sound, and supporting front of house and backstage.

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

“This is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at planning and organising a prestigious city-wide event. It is a chance to use their creativity, talents and existing skills as well as learning new ones which will last a lifetime.

“It is such an exciting and unique project to be involved in and support is provided by Leeds City Varieties and our Child Friendly Leeds team to help the planning team to make this year’s event an even bigger success than ever before.”

“We found that the young people who took part last year thought the experience was amazing and couldn’t believe the amount of responsibility and freedom they were given to create a spectacular event starting from nothing.”

Here is what Cara, a member of the CFL Crew said about her experience of organising the Awards in 2016:

“I would absolutely recommend planning the awards to other young people. You learn so much and get to see so many exciting things, as well as all the amazing Leeds communities young people can be part of. I loved working as part of the team and with the other young people to plan these awards: it really makes you feel like children and young people in Leeds can play a large part in the city and its efforts to become child-friendly.”

There is a short application form to complete and the deadline for applications is Friday 16 September. To apply, please visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds/Pages/Child-friendly-Leeds-awards.aspx

There is also an opportunity for everyone else to play their part in the awards by nominating people, places and organisations in any of the six categories:

Best place in Leeds for children and young people: This is the award for the places and spaces where children and young people love spending their time. It could be a shop, venue, group, school, youth club or a local café that always puts children and families first.

Child of the year (two awards – under 11 years old, and 11 to 18): This award celebrates a child or young person who has done or achieved something exceptional. It could be someone who makes a big contribution to their local community or a young person who is caring for a friend or loved one who needs extra support.

Adult inspiring children and young people: This award recognises the people who care for, support and inspire Leeds children and young people every day. For example nominees could include: a kinship or foster carer who has transformed a child’s life; a teaching assistant who inspires the imagination of their pupils; or an adult who runs a community group for young people. The award will celebrate what adults do every day to help make Leeds the best place for children and young people to grow up in.

Best overall contribution to making Leeds a child friendly city: This is the award for the business, organisation, team or individual that has shown true commitment and made a meaningful contribution to making Leeds the best UK city to grow up in. It could be a business with an exemplary apprenticeship programme, a school that has made a major contribution to improving the local community or a sports club that welcomes and celebrates children and young people. We want to hear about the numerous initiatives across Leeds that give children and young people opportunities, inspiration and optimism for the future.

Organisations inspiring schools: This award recognises the invaluable support that pupils and schools receive from within their local community. This could be local organisations, educators or individuals from outside the school’s regular staff, who work with, or in a school to inspire, inform, entertain, or support pupils. Examples could include a local business that teaches enterprise skills to pupils or a community group project that enables volunteers to support the curriculum.

The closing date for nominations is 31 October 2016.

Further information about the awards and how to nominate can be found at: www.leeds.gov.uk/childfriendlyleeds/Pages/Child-friendly-Leeds-awards.aspx

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

https://www.cityvarieties.co.uk/Online/joinin