Child friendly city background:
For general information about child friendly Leeds please visit our main site www.leeds.gov.uk\childfriendlyleeds
‘Best city… for children'
Leeds will be a child-friendly city where the voices, needs and priorities of children and young people are heard and inform the way we make decisions and take action.’ Vision for Leeds 2011 to 2030
There are over 180,000 children and young people in Leeds. To become a child friendly city, and the best city for children and young people, their voices and views need to be heard and responded to, and that they are active participants in their local community and citywide.
The UN convention on the rights of the child sets out the basic rights for children worldwide. The UN developed the model for child friendly city model – a place where children rights are known and understood by children and adults alike, and where these rights are reflected in policies and budgets.
There are many excellent examples of child friendly places across the world, and many places actively working to become more child friendly.
-Children are welcomed, celebrated and entertained at the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. They can perform music; take part in open air theatre; cycle; play games; set up stalls selling items they’ve made; and rent skates.
-Caerphilly’s junior forum have created welcoming play spaces with their ‘please play here’ signs, to highlight safe and appropriate areas for other children, and to show the wider community that children have the right to play safely in their neighbourhoods.
-Transport in London is free for under 16s, and for many 16-19 years olds too.
There is much happening in Leeds already that makes us well placed to become a truly child friendly city. Extensive consultation took place with children and young people across the city, with the support of many partner groups and organisations. These conversations included focus groups with young people not in education, employment and training; sessions with the Leeds youth council; an online poll; a participation event involving schools and pupils; and surveys at the popular Breeze summer roadshow events.
Now, in response to the voices and views of over 2000 children and young people, we’ve agreed 12 priorities – please see below.
We’re now working with a number of partners to bring these priorities to life by making pledges.
There has been substantial interest from the business community, with many influential business voices with a stake in Leeds coming forward to get involved. We’re going to be working with these key partners to develop a menu of involvement – from apprenticeships, to mentoring, to sponsoring community clean ups lead by children and young people, there’s going to be many ways that the business community across Leeds can play a significant role in making the city more child friendly.
We’ve already formed some great partnerships to take this work forward, including: YEP; Leeds United Community Foundation; Leeds Rubgy Foundation; Leeds Metropolitan University; Leeds Youth Council.
Other partners are individuals, elected members, businesses, community groups, voluntary organisations, sports clubs, schools, children’s centres, media organisations, and many others. Some key existing partners met on 12 December to share pledges – some good case study opportunities will come from this work.
We’ll gather pledges from these many sources; match up business sponsors with groups working with children and young people; and work with young people to establish the evaluation process, including ‘mystery shopping’ and evaluation panels.
Quotes / endorsements available
- Cllr Judith Blake, executive board member for children’s services and chair of the Leeds children’s trust board
- Nigel Richardson, Leeds City Council director of children’s services
- Leeds youth council members involved in state of the city workshops
- Leeds United Community Foundation
- Leeds Rugby Foundation
- Leeds Metropolitan University
In a child friendly Leeds…
- Children and young people can make safe journeys and can easily travel around the city
- Children and young people find the city centre welcoming and safe, with friendly places to go, have fun and play
- There are places and spaces to play and things to do, in all areas and open to all
- Children and young people can easily find out what they want to know, when they want it and how they want it
- Children, young people and adults have a good understanding of children's rights, according to the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Children and young people are treated fairly and feel respected
- Children and young people have the support and information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices
- All our learning places identify and address the barriers that prevent children and young people from engaging in and enjoying learning
- There are a greater number of better quality jobs, work experience opportunities and good quality careers advice for all
- All children and young people have their basic rights met
- Children and young people express their views, feel heard and are actively involved in decisions that shape their lives
- Places and spaces where children and young people spend time and play are free of litter and dog fouling