We hope you are all keeping well at this unprecedented time, and are coping with the changes to normal life as a result of COVID-19. We continue to be amazed by our city-wide partnership, built around our ambition to be a child friendly city!
We are using Child Friendly Leeds social media channels to share details of online learning resources and fun and engaging activities for children and young people to help keep them busy indoors, so if you have anything to share then please let us know so we can support this.
Big thumbs up thank you certificate
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Let’s give a BIG Child Friendly Leeds thumbs up to all the children and young people in Leeds, and our whole school communities, as they approach the end of what’s been a very different and difficult summer term. Thanks for everything you’ve been doing to help keep people safe.
If you have children at home, download our Child Friendly Leeds certificate to pass on our appreciation and thanks.
We know young people in Leeds are especially passionate about climate change. That’s why to mark Earth Day 2020, we’ve created a toolkit of at-home activities, books and videos especially for young people to keep you busy and help you learn more about global climate change and sustainability.
My Bright Kite have released twelve brand new personal testimonial films made by children and young people in migration who attend Lawnswood School, Leeds.
The films include themes such as reasons for leaving home, migration journeys, first impressions of the UK, settling into school, challenges and ways to stay strong, bullying, feeling welcome and supported, key messages for students and teachers, future hopes and aspirations.
Active Leeds has designed a resource pack to encourage children, young people and families to be more physically active whilst promoting mental health and wellbeing. Under 8’s toolkit is called Ready Set Rainbow and The over 8’s Active Leeds toolkit is called Get Active Stay Active.
The NHS in Leeds have provided latest health information about Coronavirus, messages around looking after yourself, changes to local appointments and local support. Health services are still available and that people should continue to call 999 for medical emergencies and should call their GP about existing conditions, if they feel unwell, or if they notice new symptoms.
There have been big changes in our lives because of coronavirus, so here is a children’s guide to Coronavirus to help explain the situation.The guide aims to answer children’s questions, tell children how to stay safe and protect other people and how to help them make the best of their time at home by the Children’s Commissioner for England.
The 100% Digital Leeds team are using digital tools and technology to prevent the most vulnerable in society from falling off the radar of the organisations that support them. They have also launched a new fund to support third sector organisations in Leeds.
Leeds Baby Bank are looking for volunteers, including somebody to update their website. Click here to fill in an online application form.
A new project ‘Mini Playbox’, which was launched to provide fun and creativity into the homes of children during lockdown, is looking for volunteers to help source, pack and deliver boxes. They are also looking for ideas and creative materials which could go in the boxes. Click here to find out more.
If you would like to advertise a volunteering opportunity here, please email ChildFriendlyLeeds@leeds.gov.uk
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the most vulnerable, the Government has put in place the biggest public health measures during peacetime. As a result, Active Leeds has designed a resource pack to encourage children, young people and families (especially vulnerable families) living in the 1% deprived neighbourhoods to be more physically active whilst promoting mental health and wellbeing. These toolkits provide opportunities for children, young people and families to take part in fun and enjoyable activities indoors and outdoors whilst reducing their sedentary behaviour.
Active Leeds toolkits:
Under 8’s toolkit is called Ready Set Rainbow this resource has the capacity to engage with young children due to the creation of 3 colourful and vibrant characters called – Ray the sunshine, Hydro the water droplet and Cirrus the cloud. The children complete one of each type of activity and create a rainbow, which can then be recorded on their wall chart. There are also some short films of activities cards on the Active Leeds You Tube channel.
The over 8’s Active Leeds toolkit is called Get Active Stay Active is resource has a slightly more mature design to the activity cards to engage with an older audience. These activity cards provide young people with the opportunity to take part in casual activities indoors and outdoors. We have anticipated that there will be some C&YP who don’t want to take part in physical activity therefore we have created some activity cards to stimulate an active mind such as – colouring, crosswords, word searches and stop the difference cards.
Families, who were previously reliant on the support that school and extra-curricular sessions provide, are now left to fend for themselves to think about how they can engage their children in physical activity. A vacuum has opened up which will have a disproportionate impact on the vulnerable and those living in unstable households. The crisis has in itself created the need for an offer to families to help them engage their children in exercise as well as positive activities and challenges that stimulate and engage the body and minds of young people.
To get involved in activities you will requires little or no equipment at all. If you haven’t got any of the equipment available you can use alternative equipment in your house – for example you may need a ball (if you haven’t got a ball use a pair of socks, pillows, blankets, cushions and music).
There will be hard copies available for vulnerable families who don’t have access to the internet.
We are super excited to bring you Child Friendly Leeds Live ONLINE! On 5 August, join us LIVE for an amazing line up of entertainment, from our festival favourites BoomChikkaBoom and Rainbow Factory to activities with Active Leeds! We will also have some fantastic performers and our favourite CBBC star, Alex Winters to bring you the very best festival programme!
As part of the day’s celebrations, we want you to #GoOrange for the day! We want you to decorate, create, bake, and make all things orange. You might even ‘find orange’ surprises in the city centre and parks if you are out and about that day…
All you have to do is #GoOrange on 5 August and share you efforts with us on social media using the hashtag – the more creative the better!
P.S. We have some super exciting prizes to be won…
Another exciting part of Child Friendly Leeds Live this year is our city centre trail.
If you are in the city centre on 5 August, hunt for the orange Dinosaur eyes and share your photos using the hashtag #leedsjurassictrail. If you can find the secret word… even better! Share with us on social media to be entered into a prize draw.
The last few months have been very unusual for everyone but probably even more so for children and young people. All around the UK and indeed around the world, people are sharing how they are feeling and what they have been doing whilst schools have been closed and normal activities have had to stop during the Coronavirus lockdown.
CEG, the business behind both the major Kirkstall Forge and Temple developments in Leeds, has started to collect the thoughts, feelings and stories from as many people as possible during the pandemic.
CEG have joined with the Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds City Council: Museums and Galleries, Libraries and us (Child Friendly Leeds) and with your help, we’d like to capture, collect and preserve this unusual moment in time for future generations to see, hear and read about.
What’s this got to do with me and how can I get involved?
It’s difficult to think too far ahead right now, but one day we’ll all look back on the impact of Coronavirus as a major part of the history of Leeds. We want to make sure that we document the impact it is having on all of us.
Your diaries, experiences, films, pictures and other multi-media entries, will help to paint a picture of what life was like in Leeds and the challenges we all faced.
As a child friendly city, we want to make sure that the voices of children and young people from Leeds are heard, collected and remembered and that includes YOURS!
The project is called ‘Covid Diaries’ and their websiteexplains how to submit your entry either by uploading it online or by sending in the post.
You can submit your entry/entries in whatever way is best or easiest for you.
What kind of thing can I enter or send?
You can submit whatever you want – it is all about you, your voice and sharing what this time has been like for you and everyone’s experience will be unique and different.
Some people like to write down words on a page like a story or diary entry or maybe you prefer to type text on your phone or computer.
Perhaps you prefer ‘the spoken word’, have written a poem or monologue and want to audio record your entry … or if you’re a musician and have written a song or piece of music maybe you can sing, rap or play it! Some of the best pieces of creative work have come out of times of difficulty and struggle.
Maybe you prefer to use your phone to record your experience as a vlog, take a photo and add a caption, record yourself audio or visual, share a social media post or Whats App conversation that captures your thoughts and feelings. Remember if your submission involves another friend, you’ll need to get their permission to share it and send it in together.
Some people prefer to express their thoughts and feelings through art? You could do a pencil or charcoal drawing or paint a picture using oil paints or watercolours. Maybe you have created some lockdown fashion using a sewing machine or decorated a t-shirt with acrylic pens. Perhaps you’ve created a sculpture from recycled materials or made a box model.
REALLY, IT CAN BE WHATEVER YOU WANT!
What will happen with my entry/submission?
The plan is to create an exhibition of a selection of ‘the diaries’ in the future and so when submitting yours, it is important to accept and agree to the copyright conditions.
Some final words from Councillor Fiona Venner, executive board member for children and families at Leeds City Council, added:
“Across the city, the lives of children and young people have been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are presently living through the first national shutdown of schools in modern history. Along with the rest of us, they are having to come to terms with a whole new normal way of living and finding different and innovative ways to cope.
Children and young people are also incredibly resilient, and we have already seen lots of fantastic examples of positive things they are doing to help them and their families get through the current challenging situation.
This project offers a way to capture their experience of living through a pandemic and will provide a valuable snapshot of this point in the history of our great city for future generations. I hope that lots of children and young people will share their experiences and be a part of it.”
Although we can’t venture into the outdoors to celebrate Earth Day 2020, we can still appreciate and learn more about the world around us while staying at home.
We know young people in Leeds are especially passionate about climate change as you have shown us through both the Leeds Youth Council and Leeds Youth Summit earlier this year.
That’s why to mark Earth Day 2020, we’ve created a toolkit of at-home activities, books and videos especially for young people to keep you busy and help you learn more about global climate change and sustainability.
We hope these get you thinking about how we can all #LeedsByExample to tackle the climate emergency even during these difficult times.
Charlie and Lola- Look after your planet (nursery/reception)
Peppa Pig – Recycling Fun! (reception)
Click Clack Moo – cows that type (KS1)
Earth Heroes: Twenty Inspiring Stories of People Saving Our World by Lily Dyu (KS2)
No one is too small to make a difference by Greta Thunberg (KS3/4)
Learn about the causes, impacts and management strategies for global climate change on BBC Bitesize, then test your knowledge with their climate change quiz.
Find out more about urban wildlife through the Natural History Museum’s online resources. Activities include urban tree identification, making a bird feeder and recording wildlife observations- all of which you can do from home.
The Priestley International Centre for Climate hosted an “Ask a Climate Researcher” for young people in Leeds. You can read the Q&A online and send in your own questions to be answered by a local researcher.
WWF’s Carbon Footprint Calculator is a free online tool that calculates your household’s carbon footprint. Fill out the survey with the help of your family to find out how you can reduce your impact on the planet and live more sustainably.
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.
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.
Baby Week is back for its fourth time this November with the theme ‘Making connections: Bonding, healthy brains and wellbeing for all’ and we have a fantastic calendar of events ready for you! Baby Week is now a national charity and in Leeds it aims to bring sectors and services together to promote the Best Start in life.
Baby Week Leeds 2019 will feature many events throughout the city all kicking off with their grand opening event at Crowne Plaza Hotel Leeds who have supported the initiative from the very start. The opening open to all will have many information and fun stalls, workshops including mindfulness and yoga and key speeches around speech and language development, best start initiative in Leeds, 50 things to do before you’re 5 app and the exciting launch of ‘Facemums’ in Leeds. Facemums brings together pregnant and newly delivered women via a secret Facebook site for support and information sharing during pregnancy and the early days of motherhood.
Join Leeds Libraries across the city for some exciting child friendly sessions for Baby Week 2019. From Baby Week Storytime and Multi-Sensory Social to Creative Play with Duplo and much more. Find out more via: ticketsource.co.uk/leedslibraryevents. As it’s the ‘Year of Reading’ in Leeds, we will be giving free books to all babies and promoting the importance and benefits of reading to children. In the book posted a fantastic article on the importance of reading to children, and shared the info graphic describing the benefits which can be found here.
There will also be workshops on benefits of reading and music on mental health, post-natal depression, best start, fertility and nutrition, infant mental health, perinatal mental health, neonatal unit, best beginnings and the baby buddy app, fathers and postnatal depression, midwives and much more. Leeds Children’s Centre have over 50 events on during the week so go and enjoy messy and sensory play, singing and story time sessions, benefits of baby massage and bonding with your little one and many more fun activities throughout the week – all available on the website.
There will also be opportunities to enhance services and have your say by meeting professionals and experts at Leeds Kirkgate Market on Friday 8th November with many fun events including pamper station by Lush giving free hand and arm massages!
Throughout the city we have so many partners involved from Leeds Dad’s breakfast club, Rainbow Factory hosting a bonfire night special messy play, Mumbler’s meet up with The Little Gym hosting an exciting free taster session, arts and crafts with Leeds City Musuem and The Tetley, introduction to swimming for babies, coffee mornings at John Lewis, fun meet-up’s with Mummy Buddy, Baby Rave’s and child friendly sessions with BoomChikkaBoom and much more! It’s great to see so many partners involved this year so please visit the website to see the full schedule of events and to book your place at the free opening event, conference or city-wide events:
Baby Week Leeds launched in September 2016, is an early year’s initiative helping to bring and celebrate services from across the sector together and is an adaptation of Semana do Bebe (UNICEF 2010). It’s aim is raising awareness of the baby’s important growth and development mentally and physically in order to give the best start. Since May 2018, Baby Week Leeds is a registered charity, which is made up of different representatives from professions across the city including academic, midwifery, public health, children’s centres and local government. Find out more about our aims here.
Join us for the biggest children’s festival in Yorkshire featuring Popular children’s TV presenters and performers on National Play Day 7th August.
Tickets are now on sale for Child Friendly Leeds Live 2019, which will be headlined by CBeebies’ Mr. Bloom and His Band and former presenter Alex Winters returning as host.
Performances at Millennium Square from Mr Bloom and His Band, a Greatest Showman circus feature, Family Rave Mayhem with Boomchikkaboom, plus fun, games and audience participation throughout from compere Alex Winters and Heart FM.
Former CBeebies presenter and host of CFL Live, Alex Winters said: “I am really excited to be returning to CFL Live for its second year. I can’t wait to sing, dance, play games and introduce the audience to the amazing Mr. Bloom & His Band – we are going to have a fantastic time. Get ready Leeds, we’re bringing the fun.”
When is it and who’s it for?
CFL Live is made up of two events on Wednesday August 7 and is for children aged 12 and under. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
The first session will run from 10am to 12.30pm, and the second will run from 2pm until 4.30pm.
What did people say last year?
“It was fantastic. All 3 generations enjoyed it. We came this am and the talent for breeze got talent was truly amazing – you can’t help cancellations, I think it still went well & especially for the 1st time you’ve ever done it. Again we had 3 generations and I think my mum & myself enjoyed it as much as my daughter”.
“I just wanted to say a massive Thankyou S again, for taking the time out for us. My daughter has grown up watching Andy, and has a very keen interest in Dinosaurs and fossils etc, so this meet with Andy has just fuelled her interest even more But that aside, it was a fab event and we enjoyed making the bath bombs with Lush. We didn’t do the balloons/face painting because we were by the stage for the most part! You could tell a lot of hard work had gone into the day. You should definitely feel proud. I will be glued to your FB page/website for all future events”.
“Fantastic afternoon! Well done everyone involved. We will be back next year!”
Tickets cost £5 per person per session, and can be purchased online at http://www.millsqleeds.com or from the City Centre Box Office based at Leeds Town Hall (0113 376 0318).