The child friendly Leeds awards are your chance to nominate the places and people making Leeds a great place to grow up in, as well as being a platform for young people and adults looking after young people around Leeds to tell their stories from around the city.
Today we hear from Dene, who volunteers as part of Leeds City Council’s Independent Visitors scheme. The scheme involves adults spending a few hours of their time each month with a looked after child – taking trips together, introducing the young person to new experiences and helping the young person develop their interests.
Here is what Dene had to say about her trip with a young person to Elland Road to watch Leeds United…
“MARCHING ON TOGETHER……………….
We’re gonna see you win (nah nah nah)
We are so proud – we shout it out loud
We love you Leeds LEEDS LEEDS!!”
I took my young person to Elland Road to watch Leeds United play Blackpool on Saturday 12 April 2014. I’ve been a lifelong supporter of Leeds United from back when my dad used to take me to watch Leeds or Newcastle (he was a Geordie). I remember the good old days of the 70s and could probably still name all of the FA cup winning side of 1972. Alan Clarke was my favourite player and I named my dogs after Johnny (Giles) and Jackie (Charlton).
I picked up L in good time and we discussed who was going to win – I thought a 1 – 1 draw, but L was adamant that Leeds were going to win. Bearing in mind the way they have been playing recently he had a lot more faith than me.
We parked the car a five minute walk to the ground (£5) then bought a programme (£3 and now pocket size). We spotted a bike chained to the fence and joked about whether the bike owner would have had to pay the car park charge?
Stewards are on hand to help if you are lost or confused (happens to me a lot these days) and once I had negotiated the turnstile with my ticket (I didn’t know there was a wrong way round) we raced up the stairs to our seats in the Family Stand. The atmosphere was great!
As we sat down L said he much preferred these seats to those we had last time as we were only 8 rows from the front. My concern was I didn’t want to get hit in the face if the ball went into touch (and ruin my good looks!!!) but L reassured me he would dive across in front of my face and catch the ball before it did.
I enjoyed the big screen showing goals from past games so I could re-live the good old days…
The teams came out to warm up and I particularly liked the Blackpool strip of orange shirt, shorts, socks and matching boots, although a few of the players had lime green boots which we decided didn’t go with the orange kit.
Then the whistle blew for the start and with it came the rain and wind. I wished I’d brought my brolly, raincoat, hat and gloves as it was getting chilly! The rain didn’t last long and the excitement of the game took our mind off the wet weather.
To my amazement Leeds were playing quite well and we didn’t have long to wait for the first goal – a Luke Murphy individual effort. The crowd of 23,416 all seemed to jump up and cheer at the same time (apart from the 100 or so Blackpool fans). We enjoyed watching the re-run on the big screen.
In the second half it wasn’t long before Leeds got their second goal – again Luke Murphy – which I missed because the people in front and to the side stood up as he ran towards the goal, and which L missed altogether because he had gone for a drink!
On the way home me and L picked our man of the match – L’s was goal scorer Luke Murphy and mine was centre forward Matt Smith! Overall I can thoroughly recommend a day out at the football -we will definitely book tickets again for next season – more if we’re allowed. But I need to bring a bigger bag of sweets as they didn’t last long enough and were long gone before half time.
A big thanks to Dene for sharing her story. If you’re interested in finding out more about the Independent Visitors scheme and how you can sign up you can visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Leeds-independent-visitors-scheme.aspx
Or if you can think of an adult or young person doing something inspirational in Leeds and you’d like to make a nomination for the child friendly Leeds awards,please visit our awards page., You can also follow us on Twitter @child_leeds #CFLawards