Spotlight on young people

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National Recycling Week

National Recycling Week runs from 25 Sept – 1 Oct 2017 and we’d like schools and young people across the city to get involved and think about waste, recycling and the environment.

Why not watch this 1 min film made by pupils at St Bartholomew’s Primary School who recently went on an exciting trip to the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF) to learn more about recycling and find out about how Leeds’ waste is turned into energy.​



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Are you looking to enhance your curriculum with real world learning outside the classroom? The FREE educational visit to RERF brings a range of curriculum subjects to life all hosted in an impressive state-of-the-art, innovative building in east Leeds. Standing at 42 metres high and 150 metres long, this award-winning, landmark building is visible from many parts of the city making a distinctive contribution to Leeds skyline including what is believed to be the biggest green/living wall in Europe. More information at: www.leeds.gov.uk/rerf.

This is just one of a number of opportunities and resources currently supported through the Schools Waste Education Service including, amongst others, educational visits to either East Leeds Household Waste Recycling site or Kirkstall Household Waste Recycling site both of which house a re-use shop. For more information contact: Steve Ruse. Lead Sustainable School consultant. Leeds City Council. Mob: 07891 275297. Tel: 0113 37 86785



Being physically active is so important!

Encouraging children to be physically active every day is important to keep them healthy and happy.

The Leeds Children & Young People Physical Activity Needs Assessment report presents detailed data on how active children are and why it matters to their health.

The report found that nearly half of the city’s school age children do less than an hour of daily physical activity. Read more here​.

Please help highlight the importance of being active by displaying and sharing these Public Health England infographics for early years and school age children. 

Children 0-5yrs infographic (PDF:74kb)

Children 5-18yrs infographic (PDF:96kb)​

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​​School ‘recycling champs’ royally recognised for their commitment to recycling and the environment


Five ‘Recycling Champions’ from Corpus Christi Catholic Primary had the special honour of meeting HRH the Duke of Kent at the official opening of the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF).

The children showcased, not only their throwing skills, but also their understanding of materials that can be recycled (finely honed through a recent school visit to the Leeds RERF) and challenged the Duke to a game of bean bag recycling. One Year 6 pupil, Casey Mitchell presented her winning poster from a school competition, to the Duke as a memento of his visit.

Casey’s creative poster depicted the story of how people can make Leeds cleaner and greener by encouraging re-use, reduce, recycling and recovery, by letting “others know every piece [of rubbish] should go in one or other of the different bins” (green, black and brown). Casey raised awareness of the giant grab claw that carries up to 6 tonnes of waste in one swoop and the furnace that burns rubbish at a minimum 850˚C at Leeds RERF. Casey also included calls to action on her poster:

“Save the earth for what it’s worth” and “The world is a better place when you recycle”



Pupils from Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School play the recycling game with HRH the Duke of Kent


Wendy Walsh, Headteacher at Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School, said:

“RERF is a wonderful visit both educationally and to prepare the children as citizens by inspiring them to be guardians of their planet for future generations. Thank you for such a wonderful experience. The children were so enthusiastic and complimentary after their visit which has provided them with new ideas on how to take their Recycling Ambassador role further”.

The school was invited to the formal launch of the state-of-the-art building in recognition of their fantastic efforts in the school and local community on recycling including establishing a dedicated team of School Waste Recycling Advisors.

For more information on the young School Waste Recycling Advisors programme, please contact Steve Ruse, Sustainable School Consultant at steven.ruse@leeds.gov.uk or 07891 275297.


Evie's Story


Evie is 11 years old and lives in Leeds with her mum, dad and older brother. She is a huge Little Mix fan, loves hanging out with her friends and painting her nails. She was also diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about two years ago. Evie has been recognised by Child Friendly Leeds and Yorkshire Children of Courage in their award ceremonies for her bravery and fantastic work to help raise awareness and funds for UK charities for Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD).

On Thursday 19 May, Evie and her friends celebrated World IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disorder; Crohn’s and Colitis) Day and helped raise awareness of this condition that affects many young people by organising a balloon (fully biodegradable!) release in Leeds city centre.

​​Evie receiving award

Evie recently presented a cheque for £3000 to Dr Zamvar and Dr Puntis (Paediatric Gastro Consultants) which was used to buy three mannequins and produce information posters. The mannequins and posters will help children suffering with IBD understand and see how their intestines should be working and why they’re not. If you’d like to find out more about her fund-raising efforts and would like to support her, please visit her ‘Just Giving’ site: www.justgiving.com/eviesway.

Evie was interviewed by the Complex Needs Service and this became the basis of some guidance for schools based on what Evie said. This document​(PDF 3.56MB) will hopefully help local teachers and other education workers learn how they can offer the best possible support for other children and young people with medical needs whom they work with. It is very informative, practical and really worth reading! As Evie says: “If I can help one child with a complex health need attending school, I will be really proud I’ve helped support that person.”​​

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​Keep Harehills Tidy campaign



The ‘Keep Harehills Tidy’ campaign was launched in March and saw residents, businesses and partners join together at six locations across Harehills to get the campaign started with community clean ups!

Hovingham Primary school took part in the clean-up including the ‪#‎1pieceofrubbish challenge, which saw pupils, parents and residents came together to collect one piece of rubbish per day to fill a skip that the school had hired. The community came out in strength and included local police, parents and members of the school’s Student Council. Visit www.hovingham.leeds.sch.uk to find out more about what the school is doing.​

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​Is cycling the ‘new football’ for Yorkshire Youngsters?


More and more youngsters are choosing cycling as a sport, with two wheels attracting young people who may previously have opted for football or other mainstream sports. With the Tour de Yorkshire coming soon, local cycling clubs are expecting another upsurge in interest from youngsters and one club is investing heavily in their future.

Joe Krasinski and Stuart Westley, aided by a number of volunteers and qualified coaches, run weekly training sessions for budding racers at the Alba Rosa Cycling Club which meets at Allerton Grange School on a Wednesday evening. The club has just invested in a new specialist racing kit and equipment to encourage the team spirit and show confidence in  their young members, some of whom will be good enough to take part in future Tour de Yorkshires. The club is open to all young people and you do not need to be an experienced cyclist – all that is required is enthusiasm and a bike (no need for it to be a particular type or model).

The Alba Rosa Club have an open evening on Wednesday 27 April, 6.15 to 7.15pm at Allerton Grange School, Talbot Av, Moortown, LS17 6SF which will provide an opportunity to watch the youngsters train, talk to members and their parents and meet the trainers. 

For more details about the opening evening or to find out about joining the club, please contact: Joe Krasinski on Tel: 07891 275960 or e-mail him at: albarosayouth@gmail.com​​​

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Awards ceremony for safe-travel film makers


In March, pupils from Benton Park, Brigshaw High, Corpus Christi Catholic College and Horsforth School attended their very own film premiere and Oscar-style awards ceremony at Hyde Park Picture House as part of a film-making project aimed at helping year six primary school pupils with their transition to high school.

The students created, directed and starred in short films focusing on safe and sustainable ways to travel to school and used entertaining themes including a zombie apocalypse, video gaming, and parodies of Star Wars and James Bond to get their messages across.

The project was provided through a partnership between Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour team and the campaigning charity Sustrans; and was funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund, Access to Education scheme.

The judging panel made up of Councillor Gerry Harper, the council’s deputy executive member for regeneration, transport and planning; Mark Burns-Williamson, the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire; Andrew Hall from Leeds City Council; Mike Nolan, from the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and Caroline Downey from Sustrans had a difficult task choosing the winners.

All of the students involved in this innovative project have done a fantastic job helping to reduce traffic congestion around our schools. The films will serve as a great legacy, continuing to promote the message of safe and sustainable travel to students for many years to come

Councillor Gerry Harper

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