Thursday, 19 March 2009

Young people get their ‘Definition’ of a great Friday night


One night a month, Rios nightclub in Leeds city centre will be handed over to under 18s so they can meet and have fun in a safe environment and showcase their musical talents to their friends.

Young people have helped Leeds City Council’s youth work staff organise ‘Definition’ - a night to allow young people across Leeds to get together and listen to the music they want to in a drug and alcohol-free environment.

Rios nightclub in the Grand Arcade, will be handed over the young people every third Friday of the month, starting this Friday (20 March) until 22 May, between 6pm and 9pm.

These Friday night events have been made possible because of additional government funding to support the city centre youth work team to provide young people with additional activities on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The aim of the event is to provide young people with an alternative form of youth provision where they can meet in a safe space with their mates, relax, have fun whilst also having access to youth work support and provision. It is managed and run by Leeds City Council youth work staff with additional support from young people.

The events will provide young people with the opportunity to showcase their musical talents by performing to their friends in various music styles to suit everyone.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive member responsible for youth services, said:
“These new Friday night events will help prevent young people drifting into crime and anti-social behaviour by ensuring they have access to activities at the times they want and need.

“Our youth workers have worked hard to engage with these young people and have gained an understanding of who they are, what matters to them, and what interests them. And, because the young people have helped organise and manage this event the city centre youth workers have made sure it will meet their needs and be a great success.”

Notes:
In November last year Leeds was announced as one of 81 local authorities to receive £25,000 from the Department for Schools, Children and Families to invest in Friday and Saturday night activities for young people. The authorities were selected because they are the areas that the Government is working with through the Youth crime Action Plan and the Tackling Knives Action programme.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Lord Mayor presents Leeds award


A man who has dedicated 40 years of his life to serving the Jewish community in Leeds was presented with a Leeds Award in recognition of his hard work and dedication in the city this week.

The special ceremony on Tuesday was hosted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Frank Robinson, and was held in honour of Stanley Cundle MBE in appreciation of his tireless work for charity. All recipients of the Leeds Award are presented with a certificate and a personal gift from the Lord Mayor, and their names are engraved on a special panel in the ante-chamber.

As well as receiving a Leeds Award, Stanley was also awarded an MBE in the new year’s honours this year. The Lord Mayor was delighted to congratulate him on this on behalf of the city.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Frank Robinson said:
“The Leeds Award was created to recognise people whose achievements reflect credit on the city, and to make sure that they know that their efforts are appreciated.

“The Leeds Award is a prestigious honour, which is presented on behalf of the city and its people as a lasting tribute to the contribution that people have made. I would like to congratulate Stanley on both his Leeds Award and his MBE, and thank him for all of his hard work and dedication.”

There is a fantastic amount of good work happening in Leeds, and if you know of someone who you feel deserves the recognition of a Leeds Award, we would like you to nominate them for a future ceremony. Please send the details to Brenda Knott, Head of civic and ceremonial support, Leeds Civic Hall, Portland Crescent, Leeds, LS1 1UR or email to brenda.knott@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Spring fun day to celebrate Armley’s diverse community

The people of Armley are being invited to a day filled with free fun activities to celebrate the town’s diverse community.

Everyone is welcome at Strawberry Lane Community Centre, Armley on Saturday March 21st from 11.00 am until 4pm to find out more about each other’s communities and to enjoy food, drink, the creative arts and sport.

The fun day has been funded by the Inner West Area Committee and aims to bring together and celebrate the traditions and cultures of the wonderfully diverse people of Armley.

Local people will be able to try their hand at lots of activities including; five-a-side football, henna hand painting, salad planting and mask making amongst others, and younger visitors will be able to enjoy a range of inflatables. Radio Poplar and Interplay Theatre will also be on hand to entertain the crowds.

Over 30 organisations will be attending the fun day, including musical treats from the Sikh drummers and members of the Russian community will be displaying traditional costumes as well as giving a puppet show and offering Russian pancake tasting .

Cllr Janet Harper chair of the Inner West Area Committee, said:
“This family fun day is a great opportunity for the people of Armley to get together and discover interesting things about each other’s communities. I am sure it will be a great success and an enjoyable day for everyone.”

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Social Workers creating a pathway for a brighter future


Picture Caption 'Pathway planning social workers Tania Boulongne and Caroline Newsome'

Social work seems to have been getting a lot of bad press recently thanks to a number of high profile cases in the media, but where does the reality lie? What is it really like to be a social worker, and where would society be without them?

Earlier this week the social work profession celebrated the third ‘World Social Work Day’ (Tuesday 17 March), to recognise the essential contribution of social work, locally, nationally and internationally, and explore the varied and evolving role of social work in a changing world.

Leeds City Council’s social workers help people in all stages of life, from children to the elderly, and provide assistance to families dealing with what sometimes appear to be insurmountable obstacles. Whether it be in mental health, disability, elderly care or child protection the council’s social workers provide a service few people are able to do.

Social work, like any other caring profession, is as equally rewarding as it is challenging. They work with some of the most vulnerable people in our society and under some of the most challenging circumstances - but the difference they make to these people’s lives can be immense.

Caroline Newsome, a social worker with Leeds City Council’s Pathway Planning team explains what being a social worker is all about:

“Being a social worker with young people who are preparing to leave care is incredibly rewarding. It is a time of opportunity and change and young people bring a unique energy to the work.
It’s great to work with a young person who’s been in care a long time and is ambitious and enthusiastic about life. But equally to see someone who’s life was really chaotic when you first met them start to turn their life around and to value the support social work can offer makes the job worthwhile.”

Caroline works for Leeds City Council’s Pathway Planning team, which supports 16 and 17 year olds who are about to leave local authority care. The team’s main aim is to help them with the transition from being a looked after child into adulthood, which can involve helping them find accommodation, training or employment and help them with health, finance and any other issues a parent would normally be there for. The team also recognises many care leavers wish to return to their birth families when they are 18 and will work to build the necessary links to enable them to do so. They also work with people who have left care, up to the age of 24, ensuring they have someone to turn to as they establish themselves as young adults.

Caroline’s colleague Tania Boulongne explains:
“A lot of young people don’t have the same support networks other young people take for granted, and on top of that they have to deal with a lot of massive life-changes all at once; setting up home, starting college, becoming financially independent, so we are here to give them the tools to deal with these changes.”

Without the help from social workers in Pathway Planning, these young people would be almost left to fend for themselves. Research has shown that young people who have left local authority care and do not have social worker support are more likely to get involved in crime, have poor levels of education, high instances of mental health problems, as well as high rate of teenage pregnancy and poor attachment capabilities.

Caroline originally started working in residential care, with young people with learning disabilities and older people. She moved into social work because she felt it would give her the opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives. Caroline says her role in Pathway Planning is definitely the most rewarding because the young people she works with are going through such an important time of their lives and they can really benefit from the support she can offer.

An average day for Caroline could involve going out to meet one of the young people to help them find accommodation, accompanying them to health appointments, help them access training or find a job, or just listen to their concerns and be a friend.

Donna is one of the young people Caroline works with:
Donna, 17, has been in the care of Leeds City Council for nearly ten years following problems at home. She has been with the same foster carer since 2001.

Social workers have helped Donna throughout her time in care and along with her foster carers and Donna’s own determination she has progressed well. She is currently at sixth form studying for five A’ Levels after achieving 11 GCSEs, and hopes to be a primary school teacher - she’s already picked out her university course.

As well as studying for her A’ Levels Donna is also using her past experiences to help others and volunteers as a mentor for younger children and with Childline.

With help from Caroline, previous social workers and her foster carers, Donna has been able to overcome problems in her past and become an ambitious and positive young woman.

In Donna’s own words:
“Hi I'm Donna,
I have been in care since 1999, I have had lots of support and help from a long-term social worker and now a pathway worker. I have also been very fortunate to have a long-term foster placement where I have had lots of support and help. I attend Allerton High School who have been very supportive and I am currently in sixth form doing 5 A-levels and I am hoping to become a primary school teacher.”

Notes:
World Social Work Day is organised by the International Federation of Social Workers and celebrated globally. More information can be found at: http://www.ifsw.org/en/f38000041.html

For more information about all the social care services Leeds City Council provides please visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Health_and_social_care.aspx

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

‘Your community – your priorities’ – event in Kirkstall

Residents in Kirkstall are being given the chance to meet the people that provide services in their area.

The ‘Your Community – Your Priorities’ event, organised by the West North West Area Committee, will give residents the opportunity to have their say on how local services are being delivered. This is a real opportunity to influence local decision making in their area.

People can attend the session on Monday 23 March, at any time between 3.30pm and 7.30pm at Milford Sports Club, Beecroft Street, and can stay for as long, or little, as they wish.

Kirkstall residents will get the chance to discuss their area’s priorities with local ward councillors, Leeds City Council staff and staff from other local organisations, such as the neighbourhood policing team and also the council’s environmental action team, who will be on hand to listen to and take action on their suggestions.

Councillor James Monaghan, chair of the inner north west area committee, said:
“Events like this are an important way for us to meet with local people and discover what they think of the services the council provides and what their priorities are for the future.”

Councillor Les Carter, executive member with responsibility for neighbourhoods said:
“These sessions are a great opportunity for local people to influence the decisions being made about the future of their areas so I hope that residents will take the chance to voice their concerns and priorities for their town.”

This is one of 12 events taking place across the west and north west of Leeds over the next two months.

For further information about the sessions please contact the West North West Leeds Area Management team on 0113 3950978 or via email at west.north.west@leeds.gov.uk.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

‘Your community – your priorities’ event in Bramley

Residents in Bramley are being given the chance to meet the people that provide services in their area.

The ‘Your Community – Your Priorities’ event, organised by the West North West Area Committee, will give residents the opportunity to have their say on how local services are being delivered. This is a real opportunity to influence local decision making in their area.

People can attend the session on Thursday 26 March, at any time between 4pm and 8pm at Fairfield Community Centre, and can stay for as long or little as they wish.

Bramley residents will get the chance to discuss their area’s priorities with local ward councillors, Leeds City Council staff and staff from other local organisations, such as the neighbourhood policing team and also the council’s environmental action team, who will be on hand to listen to and take action on their suggestions.

Schoolchildren from Bramley primary school will also be entertaining the visitors with a musical performance starting at 4pm.

Councillor Janet Harper, chair of the inner west area committee, said:
“Events like this are an important way for us to meet with local people and discover what they think of the services the council provides and what their priorities are for the future. I am sure everyone attending will enjoy the performance by the local schoolchildren.”

Councillor Les Carter, executive member with responsibility for neighbourhoods said:
“These sessions are a great opportunity for local people to influence the decisions being made about the future of their areas so I hope that residents will take the chance to voice their concerns and priorities for their town.”

This is one of 12 events taking place across the west and north west of Leeds over the next two months.

For further information about the sessions please contact the West North West Leeds Area Management team on 0113 3950978 or via email at west.north.west@leeds.gov.uk.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

‘Your community – your priorities’ event in Calverley and Farsley

Residents in Calverley and Farsley are being given the chance to meet the people that provide services in their area.

The ‘Your Community – Your Priorities’ event, organised by the West North West Area Committee, will give residents the opportunity to have their say on how local services are being delivered. This is a real opportunity to influence local decision making in their area.

People can attend the session on Tuesday 24 March, at any time between 3:30pm - 7:30pm at Labour WMC, Back Lane, Farsley, and can stay for as long, or little, as they wish.

Calverley and Farsley residents will get the chance to discuss their areas’ priorities with local ward councillors, Leeds City Council staff and staff from other local organisations, such as the neighbourhood policing team and also the council’s environmental action team, who will be on hand to listen to and take action on their suggestions.

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the outer west area committee, said:
“Events like this are an important way for us to meet with local people and discover what they think of the services the council provides and what their priorities are for the future.”

Councillor Les Carter, executive member with responsibility for neighbourhoods said:
“These sessions are a great opportunity for local people to influence the decisions being made about the future of their areas so I hope that residents will take the chance to voice their concerns and priorities for their town.”

This is one of 12 events taking place across the west and north west of Leeds over the next two months.

For further information about the sessions please contact the West North West Leeds Area Management team on 0113 3950978 or via email at west.north.west@leeds.gov.uk.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk