Young people come together to plan and reveal theme for citywide #ChildFriendlyLeeds awards

Children and young people are taking centre stage at the city’s prestigious annual Child Friendly Leeds Awards ceremony. Celebrating the people, places and organisations who make Leeds child friendly, the awards which take place in February are entirely planned, delivered and hosted by young people.

The February event will be the seventh year that the awards ceremony has taken place and the young people planning it are hoping it will be the best ever. Each year, a different group of young people work together with the City Varieties learning team to plan, organise and put on the prestigious event. This includes working alongside theatre professionals; script writing; selecting performers; supporting front of house and backstage; working with designers; and promoting the event – HOW AMAZING?

A group of ten talented young people aged 11 – 15 years old make up this year’s awards planning group. They have called themselves ‘Tentastic Productions’ and hail from different areas across the city (see biographies in the notes below). The young people are attending weekly planning sessions running from September to January and are being supported by Child Friendly Leeds and the learning team at Leeds City Varieties.

This year’s team have been very busy deciding on the theme for the night, and there have been a fantastic range of unique and creative ideas to choose from. The team have now reached a decision and are excited to reveal that the theme for this year’s awards is ‘Space’ – which promises for a magical atmosphere on awards night.

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Last week the group were joined at City Varieties by Professor Adam Beaumont, founder of aql and main sponsor of the Child Friendly Leeds Awards, to reveal the theme. Special guests also included Councillor Fiona Venner, Leeds City Council executive member for children and families, Councillor Salma Arif, deputy executive member for children and families and Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council.

So who are the young people?


Hi, my name is Amelia and I am 11 years old. I wanted to do this project because I wanted to meet new people and make new friends. When I am older I want to be an astrophysicist.


Hi, my name is Holly and I am 14. My hobbies are playing rugby and watching TV. My favourite food is KFC and my favourite subject at school is art. When I am older I want to work with dogs. I wanted to do this project to help boost my confidence.


Hello, I am Sherif and I am 14 years old. My hobbies are rugby, football, gaming and cycling. When I’m older I want to have my own business. I wanted to do this project because I want to improve my public speaking skills and speak in front of a big audience.


Hi I am Omar and I am 13. My favourite subject at school is design tech, and when I am older I want to be a civil engineer or a teacher. I enjoy reading, cooking, football and gaming. I wanted to do this project to help me boost my confidence.


Hi, my name is Charlie and I am age 12. I enjoy singing, and playing the piano and flute. My favourite subject at schools is drama, and my favourite foods are watermelon and chocolate cake. I wanted to do this project so I could make new friends – and be on stage!


Hello, I’m Emma and I am 14 years old. My hobbies are reading and doing textiles. When I am older I want to make things, or go into childcare. I wanted to be on this year’s planning group, as I have attended the awards before and they were really fun!


Hi I am Hafiza and I am 15. I wanted to plan this year’s awards to help me boost my confidence, and to build up my CV. My hobbies are styling people’s hair and cooking. When I am older I want to become a teacher, and open my own salon on the side.


Hello, my name is Dalia and I am 13 years old. My hobbies include horse riding, photography and singing. My favourite food is sushi and I enjoy food tech lessons at school. I wanted to do this project to help me become more confident.


Hi I am Jayden and I am 12. My favourite artists are Stormzy and Ed Sheeran and I like DJing and playing pool. When I am older I want to be a DJ, a police officer, a paramedic, or a professional pool player!


Hello, I am Aminah and I am 13. My hobbies include writing, art, netball and basketball. My favourite subject is PE. I am a member of the Grand Muslim Youth Council. I wanted to be involved in this year’s awards as I’d heard what a great opportunity it is.

For more information on the event or to nominate a person or organisation for one of the awards, go to

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