Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Giant football encourages support to bring World Cup 2018 to Leeds

Picture caption: The crowd at Party in the Park play with the giant 'Back the Bid England' football.

A 48” inflatable football added an extra dimension to last weekend’s Party in the Park.

The giant ‘crowd surfing’ ball, produced to back the England bid to bring the World Cup here in 2018, was thrown into the 70,000 strong crowd and was accompanied by chants and cheers of ‘Back the Bid England’.

Alesha Dixon, Jedward, The Saturdays and Scouting for Girls along with presenters from 96.3 Radio Aire helped get the crowd into the football spirit, whilst another giant football was signed by hundreds of people who had gathered at Temple Newsam Park for the annual music extravaganza, organised by Leeds City Council and supported by 96.3 Radio Aire.

Their collective support will help demonstrate to FIFA the passion in England for football and back the England bid to host the 2018 World Cup here. Flyers at the event listed all the different ways people can Back the Bid and increase those all important votes!

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for leisure at Leeds City Council said:
“With less than six months to go until FIFA make their decision on the 2018 World Cup host country on 2nd December, Leeds and the City Region is doing everything it can to help demonstrate why the world’s largest sporting event should come to England.

“If we are successful, there will be a massive boost for business and tourism in the Leeds City Region, with experts predicting the region would see visitors spending over £150m in the region’s hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants during the World Cup.

“Events such as Party in the Park are excellent opportunities to bring the 2018 World Cup to the forefront of a people’s minds, encourage votes and get huge numbers to Back the Bid England, whilst the giant football added the wow factor!”

Another Back the Bid inflatable football was also in evidence at an Open Day at Barnsley Football Club on Sunday and the footballs will be touring the region up to the 2nd December.

Here’s how to vote for bring the World Cup to England in 2018:

• Find our more about the City Region bid and help knit the world’s longest scarf at www.backthebidleeds.com
• Visit your nearest Morrisons store where you can sign up to back the bid. They have pledged to get 2 million signatures
• Explore the new BT 2018 website where you can add your photo to a digital flag of people who are backing the bid. www.bt.com/2018
• Visit the England 2018 website to learn more about the England bid and register your support. www.england2018bid.com

For more information contact Debbie Clarke, 0113 214 5203, debbie.clarke@marketingleeds.com.


Notes to editors:
*The Leeds City Region Partnership brings together the eleven local authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council.

Scheme to help young burglars change their lives gets national accolade

A scheme that works with young burglars to keep them out of prison, stop them re-offending and find better lives has won a national award.

The Leeds City Council scheme has won a prestigious Howard League for Penal Reform Community Programme Award.

One of eight programmes across the UK to receive recognition, the council’s Youth Offending Service’s Programmes Team won the award for the best community programme in the children and young people category.

Late last year, the council identified high rates of burglary offences in the city compared to other areas of the country. The youth offending team took on the task of creating a substantial ‘community intervention’ scheme that would work with young people convicted of burglary offences.

It aimed to help prevent them from re-offending and become an alternative to a prison sentence.

Three burglary programmes have been developed:
• Impact – six-session individual programme, helping young people aged 10-13 to reduce their offending by getting them to empathise with their victims, address peer pressure and help them find positive ways forward
• Breakin’ Out – eight-session individual programme to help young people aged 14+ address why they decide to burgle and to understand their victims.
• Short Break – a programme of two one-and-a-half hour group sessions to help young people aged over 14 to understand their thought processes, develop empathy with victims and plan for the future.

John Drew, chief executive of the Yorkshire Justice Board, which oversees the youth justice system in England and Wales, was one of the judges. The particular strengths noted by the judges were adaptation to learning styles and involvement of a Speech and Language therapist in the programme’s development.

The Community Programme Awards are aimed at increasing public protection by recognising outstanding community programmes that help to reduce the seriousness and frequency of re-offending. The awards are supported by the Probation Association, the Persula Foundation and the Corston Independent Funders’ Coalition.

Lorna Hadley, Head of Vulnerable Young People and Youth Offending at Newham Youth Offending Service, presented the award on Tuesday, 20 July at a special awards ceremony in central London.

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council's executive board member for children's services, said:
"You can't tackle high rates of burglary without looking at the causes behind them.
"This has been a significant project for us and one that attempts to get to the very root of offending behaviour, trying to reach young people and turn them away from a life of crime.
"This award is for those officers who work with these youngsters day in and day out, improving their lives and making the city safer for everyone."

Director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, Frances Crook, said:
“As we settle down to a new government and new political landscape, today’s conference will discuss and explore the future of our criminal justice system.
“We are asking key questions such as what significant roles our voluntary sector, probation service and youth justice system can play in shaping the future of the criminal justice system. What impact can they have on community sentencing? And how can community sentencing best be promoted to increase public confidence in the criminal justice system?”

The winners of our Community Programme Awards are beacons of best practice and a key example of how hard working professionals can succeed with those who have committed crimes and help them turn their lives around. It is by emulating examples like these that we can build an effective criminal justice system for the future.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Jon proves he has ‘whatever it takes’ to support pioneering therapy

Picture caption: "Jon Lund receiving his MST Community Champion award from Dr Scott Henggeler, Director of Family Services Research Center, Charleston USA and MST Services board of directors, at the MST Services awards ceremony."

A Leeds City Council employee has been hailed the international community champion for his work in supporting a pioneering youth behaviour therapy, which helps children at risk of being taken into care or custody.

Jon Lund, who works for Leeds youth offending service received the accolade at an industry awards ceremony earlier this month for his work as a champion and advocate for Multisystemic Therapy (MST).

MST is a family and community-based treatment programme for young people with complex social, clinical and educational problems such as drug abuse, violence and social exclusion.

Jon who was up against specialists from as far afield as the United States, Scandinavia and Australia, was named the MST community champion at the ‘Whatever it takes’ awards, organised by the international organisation MST Services.

Jon has been directly involved in a pilot of this innovative therapy in Leeds, and has also contributed to the success of other teams across the north of England and national events, helping to make links between youth offending teams and MST pilot sites.

Jon won the annual award after he ‘demonstrated outstanding and meritorious service’, according to the Chief Operating Officer at MST Services Joseph Boggs.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“Being recognised internationally is a great achievement for Jon and goes to show what dedicated and professional staff we have here in Leeds.

“This team is definitely leading the way in this pioneering therapy which supports our young people and their families and help them overcome their serious and complex problems by working together.”

Leeds has been one of 10 English pilot sites for MST since 2008 and is already making a difference to young people on the edge of care in Leeds, and their families.

The therapy-based programme, which is widely used in the USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, supports families by helping them make positive changes in various aspects of young people’s lives that can contribute to anti-social behaviour.

Professionals from a range of backgrounds, including psychology, social work and family therapy, are involved in providing MST to young people and their families over a three to six month period in homes, schools and community settings.

The pilot, is part of a nationwide trial which involves 700 families and is being funded by the Department of Health. It provides support to a number of families and young people in Leeds and is already showing positive outcomes, with the majority of young people remaining safely at home after intervention. According to the latest Ofsted report into Leeds children’s services* parents are extremely positive about the impact of the project, reporting that it has kept their families together and enabled them to get back in control.

Jim Hopkinson, head of Leeds youth offending service, said:
“In a short space of time MST has had a massive impact in Leeds by supporting families with complex difficulties to turn their lives around. Jon has worked tirelessly to embed the development of MST in Leeds and I am delighted that he has received the recognition he deserves through this prestigious award.”

Multisystemic therapy works by providing parents with the skills and resources they need to address the factors which contribute to the youth’s behavioural problems. It helps improve the parents’ discipline practices and management of disobedience and aggressive behaviour and enhance family relations. The young person is encouraged to associate with peers who are a positive influence. The programme also helps improve the parents’ links with school and other organisations involved with the young person, as well as decreasing drug and alcohol use and ultimately ending any criminal behaviour.

* CAA annual rating of children’s services published December 2009

Success of MST in Leeds to date
o Cases completing treatment - 92%
o Young person living at home at end of MST - 90%
o Young person in school/working - 73.5%
o Young person with no new arrests - 79.6%

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

Breeze is back and this time we’ve got new stuff

Young people power will be bringing brand new experiences to all Breeze-goers this summer, with some mystery new equipment at this year’s Breeze on Tour.

The first of a variety of new purchases will be ceremoniously ‘opened’ on the first day of Breeze On Tour 2010 at Temple Newsam on Wednesday 28 July at 12 noon. Members of the media are welcome to attend at anytime during the event (12-5), but the 'unvieling' is expected to take place around 12.30pm

A group of young people who attend the Friday Night Project at South Leeds leisure centre has landed a successful bid to the LS£ash Youth Capital Fund to buy over £76,000 worth of new equipment for the enjoyment of all young people in Leeds.

Breeze on Tour now in its seventh year has been structured around mobile inflatable adventure equipment and a video and music studio which were purchased in 2004 when the council agreed to fund provision of positive activities for young people in Leeds. Since then the equipment has clocked up over 84,000 visits by young people accessing a range of events and some of the original purchases were beginning to show the strain.

Consultation with young people who attended last year’s Breeze on Tour, south Leeds, Middleton and Fearnville Friday and Saturday night projects, helped draw up the final shopping list. The first of which will be opened on Wednesday.

Two young people who headed up the bid will be there to help reveal their purchases. Sophie Downham of Farsley, who was one of the 2008 Breeze Has Talent finalists, recently returned from a tour that took her to Paris in the role of Cosett in the Cameron Mackintosh 25th Anniversary Tour of Les Miserables and Ellen-Theresa Hanrahan of Cottingley Springs whose signature sealed the bid.

Also there to see the wisdom of their decision will be members of the LS£ash panel who approved the bid.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, said:
“Breeze on Tour gets bigger and better every year and with the new equipment this year there’ll be something for all young people in Leeds to enjoy. Make sure you go along and don’t miss out on all the fun.”

Other activities at Temple Newsam will be the Urban Athletic Challenge, a wide range of arts and sports activities and the first two heats of Breeze Has Talent.

This year’s Beeze on Tour also has an environmental themed ‘Party without pollution’ which will see party-goers having to use pedal power to keep the entertainment going.

Children and young people aged 8 to 18 can just turn up with their Breezecard and can get in for free at every location on every day. If people can’t make it to Breeze on Tour they could try one of the mini Breeze events – it’s just like Breeze on Tour only a little bit smaller. For more details please visit breezeleeds.org.

All Breeze on Tour events take place between 12 noon and 5pm:
Wed 28 and Thur 29 July: Temple Newsam
Wed 4 and Thur 5 August: Armley Park
Wed 11 and Thur 12 August: Scott Hall playing fields
Wed 18 and Thur 19 August: Cross Flatts Park
Wed 25 and Thur 26 August: Kirkstall Abbey

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

More awards success for Leeds parks staff

Caption: Parks and countryside officers (left to right) James Jesson, Jenny Watts and Glenn Gorner are presented with the John Boddy Trophy by Yorkshire Agricultural Society President-elect Sir Ken Morrison

Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service has continued its run of success after winning another major award.

Fresh from securing a history-making first-ever gold medal at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show, the service has now been awarded the coveted John Boddy Trophy by the Forestry Commission for their excellence in woodland management.

The award is for the service’s work on the Billy Wood woodland at Kippax, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) within the Townclose Hills Local Nature Reserve.

The trophy was presented to the service by Yorkshire Agricultural Society President-elect Sir Ken Morrison and the chief executive of trophy sponsors John Boddy Timber Mr Frank Boddy.

At Billy Wood the parks and countryside service is currently five years into a seven-year project to convert the area using coppicing techniques to allow a regular supply of wood and encouraging regrowth of trees at different levels which improves biodiversity and provides a variety of habitats for wildlife.

The work is has been supported by grant aid from the Forestry Commission's English Woodland Grant Scheme with the Friends of Billy Wood local community also playing a key role in the management of the site.

Billy Wood saw of the challenge of the other shortlisted finalists which included the Duncombe Park Estate's National Nature Reserve at Helmsley in North Yorkshire and the North York Moors National Park's Levisham Wood to claim the prize.

Leeds City Council’s acting head of parks and countryside Sean Flesher said:

“It has been a fantastic few weeks for the parks and countryside service in Leeds and we are delighted to have won this award.

“This achievement is a reflection of a great team effort by our officers working together with the Friends of Billy Wood who offer invaluable support to what we are striving to achieve there so this trophy is a wonderful reward for their efforts and we are very proud.”

To find out more about Billy Wood and Townclose Hills Local Nature Reserve, go to www.leeds.gov.uk and search for Townclose Hills.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Time Team star digs Leeds

Leeds City Museum is offering the chance to get behind the scenes gossip from Channel Four’s hugely successful Time Team.

As part of the Festival of British Archaeology (running until Sunday 1st August) the museum is pleased to have one of the show’s top archaeologists in town to reveal what really happens on and off camera.

Raksha Dave part of the world’s most successful and longest running archaeology television programme will be explaining what it is like to be involved in some of the country’s most exciting digs and to work alongside Tony Robinson and Phil Harding during a lecture at Leeds City Museum on Thursday 29 July.

Time Team’s Raksha Dave said:

“This is a one-off opportunity to find out what goes on behind the scenes on Time Team, how we work and some of the fascinating artefacts we have discovered on the show.”

One of the field archaeologist who joined the team for the 2004 series, Raksha is very enthusiastic and dedicated to her archaeology and not only will she be delivering a lecture, but she will also be holding a signing session too.

Leeds City Council’s Chief Officer for Libraries, Arts and Heritage Catherine Blanchard said:

“Anyone with an interest in archaeology or even the hit series Time Team should book tickets now – while they still can for this exciting event.

“We are honoured to have Raksha here at Leeds City Museum and grateful to her for having agreed to appear at this event. We’re all very much looking forward to her lecture which I am sure will be inspiring and insightful.”

The lecture takes place Thursday 29th July 7pm in the Thoresby Room and tickets cost £5 in advance. They can be purchased from the Leeds City Museum shop or call 0113 3950351 for more details.

Each year the Festival of British Archaeology showcases the very best of British archaeology, by presenting hundreds of special events organised and held by museums, local societies, national and countryside parks, universities, and heritage organisations across the UK.

The Festival presents everyone the opportunity to learn about their local heritage, to see archaeology in action and to get involved.

Events ranging from excavation open days and behind-the-scenes tours to family fun days, hands-on activities, guided walks, talks and finds identification workshops take place all over the UK during this special fortnight.


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email: Daniel.johnson1@leeds.gov.uk

Construction networking event provides rare insight

Local businesses in the construction industry have had a rare insight to help them win tenders in the public and private sector.

A networking event held at the Carriageworks on Wednesday 21 July saw audiences from the entire construction sector supply chain come together to learn and better understand what a client looks for.

The event, organised by Leeds City Council and the Construction Sector Network, originated from Leeds’ South African partners, who recently ran a similar project to help stimulate small and medium sized local businesses by opening up a dialogue with large corporate companies.

The event gave a rare opportunity for small and medium sized local businesses to have up-front conversations with potential clients and major contractors to gain a better insight into public and private sector opportunities.

Speakers at the event included the head of construction and store architecture for Marks and Spencer, academic researchers and senior development officers from Leeds City Council.

Speaking in what he called the spiritual home of Marks and Spencer, Steve Fuller told delegates that their procurement priorities are driven by innovation, value and an understanding and commitment to the company’s objectives, not necessarily the lowest cost.

Cllr Bernard Atha, lead member for corporate affairs said:
“This was a fascinating and valuable event for all our local businesses. We are doing everything we can to help the city and region’s businesses to continue to grow in these tough times, especially for the construction industry and I am pleased that this event was so well received.

“It is also a perfect example of the benefits of our international partnerships, which often bring new ideas to our city.”

Steve Fuller, head of construction and store architecture for Marks and Spencer said:
“We’re really happy to have been invited to this event. Its very rare to get the opportunity to talk directly to so many potential suppliers about our supply chain management priorities, which should lead to better tenders more responsive to our needs"

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council and the Construction Sector Network are planning to host a similar event later in the autumn involving other large corporate companies. For details contact Malcolm Foster, Secretary of the Yorkshire &Humber Construction Best Practice Club and Deputy Chief Procurement Officer, Leeds City Council (Malcolm.foster@leeds.gov.uk)

The Construction Sector Network is a support initiative designed to network, connect and collaborate with the construction sector in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Leeds City Council is involved in delivering a joint project with eThekwini Municipality (the city of Durban) and Steve Tshwete Local Municipality (the city of Middelburg) in South Africa. The project, fully funded by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, looks at exchanging best practice and ideas in procurement and business support.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk