What do children and young people want: the 12 wishes
The voices and views of children and young people are at the heart of making Leeds a child friendly city. When Leeds first set out its vision, we listened to the ideas of thousands of young people of all different ages. They told us what they thought would make Leeds a better city for them to play, live and grow up in and their feedback was grouped together to form our 12 wishes.
Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2022, Child Friendly Leeds has reviewed the feedback from local and city-wide consultations, surveys, and ballots over the last 3 years, capturing the views of 80,000 children and young people in the city to identify the current top issues and priorities.
The Child Friendly Leeds team and Voice Influence and Change team then worked in partnership with children and young people from Leeds Youth Council, BARCA, SEND Youth Forum, Youth Service, as well as Swillington Primary and Parklands Primary School to develop the wishes for a new generation of children and young people in the city.
You could use these to think about things that you and your organisation could do to make a difference…
The new Child Friendly Leeds wishes for the city are:
1. Children and young people know how and where to get support for their mental health and wellbeing if they need it
Children and young people have a greater understanding of their mental health and emotional wellbeing. They know where to get information and advice and who to speak to, to help them find services and support and it is available to them when they need it.
2. Children and young people have safe spaces to play, hang out and have fun
Children and young people have time and opportunities to play, hang out and have fun across the city. They feel safer as there is less crime, vandalism and litter.
3. Children and young people express their views, feel heard and are involved in decisions that affect their lives
Children and young people have a greater awareness of the different ways they can share their views and ideas. They know how to influence change within their school and community. They have access to support and training to develop their skills and confidence to enable them to have a voice and influence.
4. Differences are celebrated in Leeds so children and young people feel accepted for who they are. They do not experience bullying and discrimination
People in Leeds have a better understanding of diversity and therefore celebrate differences in abilities, ethnicity, family background, language, religion, sex and opinions. Children and young people feel accepted, included and valued. They have a greater awareness of their rights not to be bullied or discriminated against and know what to do if it happens.
5. Everyone takes more action to protect the environment from climate change
Children and young people have a greater awareness and understanding of what actions are being taken in Leeds to address the climate emergency and protect the environment. They know how they can get involved and make a difference.
6. Children and young people can travel around the city safely and easily
Children and young people feel that public transport is safe, reliable and accessible. They will not experience rising costs.
7. Children and young people know about different things to do and places to go across the city. They enjoy different cultural experiences including art, music, sport and film
Children, young people and families feel there is better promotion and communication of fun and particularly free things to do and places to go within the city including events, activities, groups, cultural experiences and days out.
8. Leeds is a city that reduces the impact of poverty and helps families who need it
Children, young people and families experiencing the impact of poverty feel they are supported and receive the help they need. They have their basic rights and needs met.
9. Children and young people have the support and information needed to make healthy choices. They have opportunities for regular physical activity
Children and young people know about different opportunities to take part in physical activity and are supported and encouraged to join in. They have access to the information they need to make healthy choices and have healthy and safe relationships.
10. All children and young people are in learning settings that meet their needs
Early years settings, schools and post 16 settings identify and address the barriers that prevent children and young people, particularly those with additional needs, engaging in and enjoying learning.
11. Young people have access to a wide range of work experience, employment and volunteering opportunities
Young people know where to get information and advice and are supported to access a wide range of opportunities that meet their needs and aspirations. This includes work experience, employment, training and volunteering.
12. Leeds is an inclusive city for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities
Children and young people feel there is more awareness and understanding of different disabilities and that there are more activities and places to go that are accessible to all.