Child Friendly Leeds Champions Announced

Local News

The winners of the third annual Child Friendly Leeds awards were announced in a star-studded ceremony at Leeds City Varieties.
The awards, organised by young people celebrate some of the people, places and organisations helping to make Leeds a child friendly city. A host of well-known celebrities helped add a touch of sparkle to the event by presenting the winners with their awards.
Nadiya Hussain, the current winner of the Great British Bake Off, was joined by Sir Gary Verity, Claire Young from the Apprentice and Leeds Rhino’s hero Jamie Jones Buchanan to present the awards. Also presenting were the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Judith Chapman, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon and six young people, including the Leeds Children’s Mayor, Hannah Begum.
Hundreds of nominations came in for champion children, child friendly places, people who go the extra mile and 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 eight young people who made up ‘The CFL Crew’. The ‘crew’ – some as young as twelve decided on a colourful carnival theme for the ceremony which was watched by an audience of nearly 400 people including city leaders and VIP guests.
The awards are hosted by the Leeds City Varieties and sponsored by British Gas, Trinity Leeds and The Works Skatepark and supported by Marks & Spencer and First Direct Arena.
The winners of the 2016 Child Friendly Leeds Awards are;
Children’s Champion,
Under 11s category;
Harry Phillips
Harry was diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2012 and since then has worked very hard to fund raise for various charities. He has raised over £45,000 for Candlelighters and has even brought a United States charity over to England. Harry's family have helped him through his journey by doing dinner dances and the Runsie, a charity fun run that has taken place for the last three years.
“Overall Harry is a fantastic person who should win this award as he is an amazing young man, whose efforts need to be recognised.”
Children’s Champion,
11 – 18 category;
Junior Frood
Junior is an 11-year-old street dancer from Meanwood in Leeds. He is the UK Freestyle Champion and ranked third in the world, having started dancing at the age of three. He has suffered years of bullying for being a dancer and his self-esteem and confidence were affected badly. Through his dancing Junior has been able to overcome many obstacles in his life, as it is a way of him expressing his feelings. He is a fantastic young man who has brought joy to thousands with his amazing talent.
Junior has recently been asked to become ambassador for the charity Dance Aid, which uses dance to help raise money for underprivileged and disabled children in the UK and Africa. Junior has up until recently been self-taught but he has now begun a full time scholarship at Pineapple Dance Academy and he travels to London every week from Leeds to train.
Up to date he has also helped raise over £50,000 for various charities, including Martin House Hospice, Cancer Centre, Crohns UK etc. Junior’s ultimate goal is to get a part in a West End musical, become a qualified professional choreographer and share his passion for dance with other children.
‘Best Place for Children and Young People in Leeds’ category;
Roundhay Park & Tropical World
Roundhay Park received the most nominations from children and young people out of all the parks and was described as children’s favourite choice out of all the parks in Leeds. Facilities include Tropical World, the lakes, the woods, café and many events.
Some of the many comments received about Roundhay Park and Tropical World included:
“Very child friendly and extremely fun for kids, families and even pets!”
“It is a really good day out and amazing to see all animals and wildlife. Best place to go on a rainy day and in the summer holidays for children.”
“Tropical World is great for children. As well as teaching children and young people about nature and wildlife, it also helps to encourage children to care for animals and plants.”
Supporting Schools,
Children’s Choice’ category;
Hamara Supplementary School
Hamara Supplementary School takes place on a Saturday and supports children and young people to achieve good grades in maths, English and science, as well as running a homework club. They work very closely with and make a difference in the local community.
One of the many supporting statements for Hamara said:
“(Hamara is) not only a school but a fab organisation for children. They have several youth clubs such as football with Leeds United, Karate, Roller Skating sessions, evening football, cricket tournaments and much more. Their holiday play scheme attracts children of all ages and backgrounds organising trips, fun days out and brings arts and culture to the community. I think it really is a great place for children and young people and with the community café, its doors are always open to young people and new ideas. Many children living in the local area are from BME and therefore some have complex issues and Hamara works with them to provide a safe environment with a range of staff supporting their every need. Children also have access to jobs and support with education, work and training.”
Overall Contribution to Child Friendly Leeds category;
Leeds Play Network
Leeds Play Network is a charity which aims to offer support and guidance to anyone working within the field of play. They are currently working on developing street play by helping local families to close their streets for play.
Leeds Play Network (LPN) is a small charity established by a group of play workers in 1994 with the aim of offering support and guidance to anyone working within the field of play work. Since 1994 the services offered by Leeds Play Network have been diverse, however facilitating access to positive play opportunities for the children of Leeds has remained central to the ethos of the organisation. Leeds Play Network is currently working on developing Street Play, which allows children to reap the physical, social, emotional and mental health benefits offered by outdoor play.
Over the last four years LPN has also provided a play partner service (which is a one to one support worker) to hundreds of children with disabilities or additional needs, enabling them to access universal play activities, and enjoy the play benefits that all children are entitled to. LPN endeavour to be advocates for the voices of children who want somewhere safe to go, something to do and to be with friends.
For more information about how to get involved see
Full details of the nominations can be found on the Child Friendly Leeds website:
For more information about the awards ceremony please follow @Child_Leeds on Twitter and use the #ChildFriendlyLeedsAwards hashtag.

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