Friday, 26 November 2010

International working makes a difference



Caption: Jodie Driver (Leeds City Council) accepts the award, with Councillor Arthur Barker (left) and the presenter of the awards Steve Smith.

Leeds City Council has been commended for its outstanding international work with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller families at a regional awards ceremony.

The winners of the Making a Difference Awards 2010 were announced last night at the event hosted by Local Government Yorkshire and Humber in Rotherham.

The international relations team won the award for Outstanding Achievement in International Working for their project “Cohesion and Understanding: Leeds and Brno Gypsy, Roma & Traveller (GRT) Communities, working together with Traveller Achievement Service in Leeds at Education Leeds.

This project has included sharing insights, experiences and good practice on work undertaken by each city around diversity, encouraging good community relations and promoting social inclusion and integration of these minority groups.

Exhibitions by Roma artists from Leeds partner city Brno, in the Czech Republic, were held in Leeds along with workshops tackling stereotypes and aiming to increase self-confidence and interaction in these communities. This not only brought together communities who have a GRT population, but also exposed a large number of Leeds people to the positive aspects of the GRT culture.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and housing said:

“I am thrilled that our International Relations team have been recognised for their work at the Making a Difference in Yorkshire and Humber 2010 Awards. Their project with Leeds partner city Brno is a great example of how international working can help to improve the lives of the different communities in Leeds at a local level.”

The Making a Difference Awards recognise the workers and front line staff from councils, police, fire and national park authorities who have gone that extra mile to make a difference to the lives of local people.

Notes to editors
The Leeds-Brno partnership began in 1991 and also works closely together and shares good practices in a number of other areas such as finance, scrutiny, education, communication, waste management, fair trade and human resources, and continues to further develop new and existing links.

Ends

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