South Leeds amongst the Child Friendly Leeds Awards

There was definite South Leeds feel to the winners of the annual Child Friendly Leeds awards which were announced at a glamorous ceremony at Leeds City Varieties last night (2 February 2017).

The awards, organised by young people, celebrate some of the people, places and organisations helping to make Leeds a child friendly city.

The Belle Isle Family Centre won the award for the Best Place for Children and Young People. The Centre runs many activities and groups including Rhyme Time for toddlers, Little Chefs cooking courses and is home to the Young Dads project.

Into University, the Beeston-based charity that works with children in Years 5-8, received the award for Inspiring Schools. Whilst Keepmoat and Construction Housing Yorkshire were awarded for their work on apprenticeships, many of which were undertaken on the Holbeck and Beeston Hill housing regeneration project.

Hundreds of nominations came in for champion children, child friendly places, people who go the extra mile, as well as great organisations, with the winners announced at the special event.

The awards showcased the talent, achievements and energy of the city’s children and young people, as well as highlighting and celebrating what people, places and organisations are doing to make Leeds a child friendly city.

The prestigious awards ceremony was organised by a group of ten young people who made up ‘YP Productions’. The young people, some as young as twelve, planned every aspect of the ceremony, from the design of the trophies and decorations, to selecting the young performers from Leeds who entertained guests on the night. The ceremony was watched by an audience of 400 people including city leaders and VIP guests. Apprentice star Frances Bishop added to the glamour of the evening when she presented the child of the year 11 – 18 award to Daniel Morton.

The winners of the 2017 Child Friendly Leeds awards are:

Child of the year: Under 11s category:

Ishaq Hashmi

Ishaq struggled to speak as a young child due to difficulties understanding dual languages. He worked with a speech therapist, slowly gained confidence and is now the first to offer his help to other children at after school classes, supplementary school & the football academy.

Child of the year: 11–18 category:

Daniel Morton

Daniel was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2014. Despite facing numerous operations and treatment Daniel has raised an impressive £5000 for cancer charities.

Best place for children and young people category:

The Belle Isle Family Centre – Health for All

The centre provides a safe and friendly place for children and their families to meet new people and try fun and new activities.

Organisations inspiring schools:


IntoUniversity is passionate about supporting children and young people to see and reach their potential, whether that is a university place or another goal.

Best overall contribution category:

Keepmoat and Construction Housing Yorkshire (CHY)

Keepmoat, in partnership with Leeds City Council have supported 52 young people through their apprenticeships and provided them with additional opportunities to increase their confidence.

Adult inspiring children and young people category:

Carol and Stephen Davis

Carol and Stephen Davis volunteer each week at Lofthouse Children’s Centre, running well-loved groups for local families.

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

“The Child Friendly Leeds awards ceremony was an absolutely fantastic night which not only celebrated the people, places and organisations which make Leeds a great place to grow up, it also showcased the hugely talented young people we have in Leeds.

“I would like to congratulate all the winners, those shortlisted and all the nominees – they are shining examples of what it really means to be child friendly.

“Becoming a child friendly city is not something we, as a council, can do alone. There are so many people across the city, who have really taken on board what we are trying to achieve and these awards are a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate their great work and achievements.”

The awards are hosted by the Leeds City Varieties, sponsored by British Gas and Trinity Leeds, and supported by Marks & Spencer and First Direct Arena.

Cllr Mulherin added:

“Without the support from these businesses we would not have been able to hold this fantastic event and celebrate all the people in our city who are helping to make Leeds child friendly.

“We are always looking for more businesses that are willing to make a pledge to look at how they can help make Leeds a great place to live for every child in the city.”