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Summer/autumn ambassador update from Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for children and families

Phew! I’ve finally had a chance to catch my breath after what has been a very busy year and particularly summer of Child Friendly Leeds (CFL) activities and events.

2017 has been a landmark year for CFL as it is our 5th birthday year and in July we were joined by ambassadors and partners across Leeds to help us celebrate at different events. Flags have been flown, buildings lit up orange, ambassadors recognised and cake has been eaten. There is still time to get involved in the birthday celebrations: use the #CFLis5 and the 5th birthday double thumb logo to badge up your events from now until 01 February 2018.

I am delighted to let you know that following an external recruitment process and formal interview by an employment committee, Steve Walker, who carried out the role in an interim capacity has now been formally appointed as our Director of Children & Families. Steve has been an integral part of the children’s services leadership team for the last six years and is fully committed to ensuring that children are at the heart of our aim for Leeds to be a compassionate city with a strong economy. I am sure you will join me in wishing Steve every success in his newly confirmed role.

Image of new Director of Children and Families Steve Walker

I would also like to introduce Councillor Salma Arif, who is taking over the role of Lead Member for Child Friendly Leeds from Councillor Alice Smart who has championed the role for the last few years. Cllr Salma Arif is also ward Councillor for Gipton and Harehills. Some of you may already have met her and she will be starting to attend CFL events over the remainder of the year. I know she is a brilliant supporter of young people and will be a passionate advocate for Child Friendly Leeds.

Image of Councillor Salma Arif, new Lead Member for Child Friendly Leeds

Some great activities have taken place over the last couple of months including: the Dadstastic event in June organised by Leeds Dads in partnership with CFL and Leeds City Museum for children and their families. The Play and Playwork Conference was one of the many well attended events that made up the Life of Learning Fortnight hosted by the Children and Families Directorate. The CFL Big Birthday Bonanza was a massive success and was attended by thousands of children and families taking part in activities across the city centre over two days. Thank you to our partners who offered their time and services at no cost or heavily discounted to support all these events and a big thank you to all the colleagues who organised them and volunteered over the birthday weekend to make it such a success.

Leeds City Museum, DLA Design and the Council have teamed up and temporarily transformed the space on Victoria Gardens (outside the Art Gallery) into a playful, creative and fun space that can be enjoyed by residents, workers, visitors, children and families. The initiative is called Park Here and Play and runs until Monday 28 August – more information on planned events can be viewed here.

The Breeze on Tour 1 and 2 day events have been as popular as ever and draw large numbers of summer visitors. Child Friendly Leeds representatives have been ‘out and about’ encouraging young people 11 – 19 years (25 with additional needs) to join the 5th Child Friendly Leeds Awards planning team. If you know a young person who might be interested, there is still time for them to apply before the closing date of Mon 11 September.

We want our 5th CFL Awards to be bigger and better than ever and want your help to nominate all the people, places and organisations who are helping to make Leeds a child friendly city. We also have a new category for 2018 called Inspiring Creativity Through Arts and Culture which will recognise the fantastic opportunities and invaluable support that young people receive in Leeds from the arts and cultural community. You can nominate online until Sat 30 September.

Many of our young people received their GCSE, A Level and BTEC exam results this month and we would like to say congratulations to them. As always we want to celebrate and promote the achievements of our young people, so education and employment partners across the city will be working together to help them to make the best decisions about their futures. Young people can find more information about clearing for university, apprenticeships and applying for jobs on the Leeds Pathways website or can attend a special event on 31 August at Kirkgate Market. More details about the drop in event are here. Thank you to everyone supporting our students in and out of schools.

I'd like to personally thank you all for supporting the Child Friendly Leeds ambition and for helping to drive the city forward on our journey to become the best city for children to grow up in. I’d like to extend a warm welcome to those newly signed up ambassadors and look forward to working with you to make a positive difference to every child and young person in Leeds.

I hope to see you at some of the events taking place for Baby Week Leeds in September (11 – 17 September).

Best wishes,

Councillor Lisa Mulherin,
Executive member for children and families

We’re working to bring everyone together to make Leeds a child friendly city—a place where children are valued, supported, enjoy growing up, and look forward to a bright future.

Change4Life Be Food Smart Campaign is now live!

A new campaign from Change4Life highlights the surprising amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt found in everyday food and drink and encourages parents to ‘Be Food Smart’.

Our kids might seem fine on the outside but too much sugar and saturated fat can lead to the build-up of harmful fat on the inside that we can’t see.

Without realising it, we all eat too much sugar, saturated fat and salt and the Change4Life ‘Be Food Smart’ app brings food labels to life, enabling families to make healthier food and drink choices.

A free app is available to download, which works by scanning the barcode of products, revealing how much sugar, saturated fat and salt is inside and encourages users to make healthier choices. As well as providing tips and suggestions for adults, food detective activities for the kids and fun ‘mini-missions’ for the whole family.

We would love your help to support the ‘Be Food Smart’ Campaign by:

● Downloading the BeFoodSmart app from the app store or Google Play by searching for ‘Be Food Smart’ or ‘Change for Life’

● Sharing the message on social media. Follow Change4Life or use the hashtag #BeFoodSmart

● Encouraging your networks to visit the Change4Life Food Smart website

● Promoting through your newsletter, website or any other channels you have