Three shortlisted for Child Friendly Leeds Awards

Three South Leeds organisations have been shortlisted for Child Friendly Awards which will be announced at a ceremony later this month on Thursday 29 January 2015.

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The Thumbs Up team outside the City Varieties

The Works Skatepark in Hunslet and Belle Isle Family Centre have both been shortlisted in the Best Place in Leeds for Children and Young People category. New Bewerley Community School’s school council, in Beeston, is shortlisted for the Children’s Champion (under 11) award.

The Works provides a safe and friendly environment for both parents and children in which they can engage in various alternative sporting activities at an affordable price. It has opened up an academy in which children who struggle in mainstream education have a second chance to improve and better themselves.

Belle Isle Family Centre is a vibrant and welcoming place for children and young people, which buzzes with groups and activities, all designed to build young people’s confidence. The centre offers something for every child: ranging from movie nights to holiday activities for all children.

The School Council at New Bewerley Community School has undertaken a number of activities this year, selling Fairtrade biscuits, making other children aware of Fairtrade, organising non-uniform days to raise money charities, campaigning to change from paper towels to hand dryers to improve the environment and helping new reception children settle in.

There were an astounding 547 nominations received for the second annual Leeds City Council child friendly Leeds awards. This made selecting shortlist an extremely difficult job for the awards judging panel. Five winners will be chosen from the 25 nominees on the shortlist. British Gas, a major employer in Leeds, is sponsoring the awards this year.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive member for children’s services and member of the judging panel, said:

Cllr Judith Blake“We were really amazed by the sheer number and quality of nominations received and touched by the commitment and hard work shown by all those nominated for an award.

“There are some fantastic people, places and organisations dedicated to making Leeds a better city for children and young people and it’s great that we have such a unique opportunity, through these awards, to celebrate their work.

“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate what a wonderful way to recognise some of the work being done across the city to improve the lives of children and young people and make Leeds a child friendly city.”

The whole event has been organised by a group of nine young people called ‘Thumbs Up Productions’ – some as young as 12 – who are currently busy making the final preparations for the prestigious awards ceremony which will be watched by an audience of around 350 people including a number of city leaders and VIPs.

These will include the Lord Mayor, the executive member responsible for children’s services, Councillor Judith Blake and director for children’s services, Nigel Richardson and chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan.

Thumbs Up Productions have planned every detail, from the design of the trophies and decorations, to selecting the young performers from Breeze Has Talent who will entertain guests on the night. They are also responsible for hosting guests on the night.

The awards are hosted by the Leeds City Varieties are sponsored by British Gas, run in partnership with the Yorkshire Evening Post and supported by Marks &Spencer and First Direct Arena.

South Leeds Life will be there on the night to report how our nominees get on.

Full details of the awards can be found on the Child Friendly Leeds website: