Friday, 14 October 2011

Families with disabled children head to the Information Marketplace

Families with disabled children and young people will be attending a special Information Marketplace event on Monday where they can get support, advice and guidance on many topics important to them.

The annual event for parents and carers of disabled children and young people, including those with special educational needs, is celebrating its fifth birthday this year. The organisers hope that this year’s Marketplace will be the biggest and best ever.

The event takes place at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on Monday 17 October, from 10.00am – 2.30pm. There will be 50 services at the Marketplace who can provide help, support, information, advice and guidance to families. Which means they can get all the information they need in one place. People can just call in at anytime and stay as long as they like.

Because 2011 is the National Year of Communication, this year’s Marketplace has introduced a new feature – four free workshops on the theme of communication. Each workshop lasts for 30 minutes and the four topics are:
• An introduction to Makaton
• Symbol communication using Boardmaker Studio
• Strategies for successful communication with children with Autistic Spectrum Condition
• Communication through music and the arts

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:

“Looking after a child with a disability is fantastically rewarding but can be challenging and raises specific issues and concerns. The Marketplace is a fantastic event for families to get access to the right people and organisations to find out whatever they need to know to help make their child’s life happier and more fulfilled.”

This year the Marketplace is being sponsored by Mayer-Johnson, the makers of Boardmaker software.
Amanda Peck, Director of Education (Europe) for DynaVox Mayer-Johnson said:
“We’re delighted to support the Information Marketplace. We’ve got a great relationship with people in Leeds. The Library Service has installed Boardmaker in 25 libraries so we work closely with the staff there. We know some of the specialist teachers and parents in Leeds who have used Boardmaker for years. So sponsoring the Marketplace event is a fantastic opportunity for us to meet up with old friends and introduce ourselves to new families.”

To book a place on one of the workshops you can register online at: Alternatively just turn up on the day. Staff will be on hand throughout the day to help find the advice and information needed.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Councillor says ready, steady, cook

Vicky at Ministry of Food Leeds gives Councillor Lucinda Yeadon some tips on cooking healthy food

A senior councillor visited Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food in Leeds yesterday (Thursday, 13 October) to have a closer look at what the project is doing to promote healthy eating to people in Leeds, and have a go at preparing a healthy meal herself.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon is the executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care in Leeds, and she was keen to find out what the project has achieved in its first year of existence.

Ministry of Food Leeds celebrated its first birthday last month, and at the same time published some brilliant results showing that there have been significant changes in healthy eating habits for students that have taken part in their cookery classes.

Based in Kirkgate Market, the project aims to teach basic cooking skills in a friendly environment alongside shopping and budgeting tips and healthy eating advice.

Evaluation and monitoring of the students before, during and after their courses show that six months after finishing the ten-week course students not only eat significantly more fruit and vegetables on a daily basis, but they snack less, have increased levels of confidence and the ability to cook healthy food from scratch.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health said:
“It's great news that this innovative project has made such an impact on the people’s lives that have been involved in it.

“Ministry of Food is all about getting people to cook again, educating them about healthy eating and encouraging them to cook their own meals instead of buying fast food or ready meals that can be expensive and high in salt and additives.

“The centre here is very friendly and a really fun environment to come along and pick up some useful hints and tips. I learnt a lot whilst I was there, which I fully intend to put into practice.

“We know that people who don’t cook, and rely on processed and takeaway food tend to be less healthy as a result. Projects like this can really help and are important in improving the future health and wellbeing of the city.”

Leeds City Council and the city’s partnership organisation, Leeds Initiative, launched the Vision for Leeds 2011 to 2030 last month, which is a long term plan setting out how Leeds aims to be the best city in the UK. One of the themes of this is making sure that Leeds is a healthy and caring city for all ages where:
• people live longer and have healthier lives;
• people are supported by high quality services to live full, active and independent lives; and
• inequalities in health are reduced , for example, people will not have poorer health because of where they live, what group they belong to or how much money they have.

Additional info

Ministry of Food Leeds is a project funded by NHS Leeds and Leeds City Council and managed by local charity Zest – Health for Life in association with the Jamie Oliver Company.

For further information about Jamie’s Ministry of Food Leeds please contact Simon Chappelow on 0113 242 5685, or Susie Brown at Zest on 0113 240 6677, or visit our website:

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Leeds to celebrate Apprenticeships

Leeds is to celebrate Apprenticeships across the city in the first awards ceremony of its kind.

Organised by Leeds City Council in partnership with National Apprenticeship Service, the Leeds Apprenticeship Recognition Awards will officially launch on Monday 17 October with a ceremony taking place in February 2012.

Leeds City Council is improving the employment and skills opportunities for local people; one of its highest priorities as part of the city’s aim for Leeds to become the ‘best city in the UK’.

Apprenticeships are a key part of the city’s employment opportunities and there has been a huge drive to increase the number of employers taking on an apprentice over the past year.

This is already paying off. The Leeds Apprenticeship Challenge aimed to get 100 employers to agree to take on an apprentice in 100 days. This target was smashed, with 162 businesses offering over 300 new apprenticeship vacancies. Between August 2010 and July 2011, 6,798 apprenticeships were started in Leeds, an incredible 93% increase on the previous year.

The awards will highlight organisations who are committed to offering Apprenticeships, the work of excellent apprentices and the championing of Apprenticeships and how they make a positive difference to the city.

The awards provide an opportunity for apprentices, employers, schools, academies, learning providers and ambassadors working on Apprenticeships within the city to nominate themselves or others, giving them a chance to shine and gain the recognition they deserve.

Individuals and organisations are encouraged to submit their entries before the closing date of Friday 18 November.

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

“It is very important that we celebrate all our apprentices across the city and the excellent work they have done. As part of Leeds becoming the ‘best city in the UK’ we want to ensure that the people of Leeds are able to access job opportunities and develop skills through Apprenticeships.”

“This is one of our top priorities, and we have made excellent progress this year. This event is a chance for everyone who has benefited from an Apprenticeship to celebrate their success as we aim to ensure that even more employers and individuals can enjoy a similar experience in the years ahead.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive member with responsibility for children’s services said:

“Opportunities are increasingly hard to come by for young people leaving school today, but we are committed to offering them as many ways as possible to build themselves a brighter future.

“The number of young people beginning Apprenticeships has increased massively this year, which is really encouraging. These awards present the perfect opportunity for us to thank businesses, schools and people across the city who have made this happen and who champion the idea of Apprenticeships.”

Short-listed individuals and organisations will be invited to attend the awards at the Leeds Civic Hall on the 8 February 2012. This coincides with the National Apprenticeship Week and will be a prestigious event for the city.

The awards will also see the presentation of the ‘Build My Future; Build My Leeds’ competition winners. The competition involved young people aged 16-18 submitting 100 words and an illustration that supported a young persons vision of the benefits that the Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds Shopping Centre will have for young people in the city. The successful winners gain employment as an apprentice in construction working on either the Arena or Trinity Leeds, and will also be presented with toolkits in their chosen trade.

To discover more, and how to enter for one of the award categories please visit: or email us at:

Notes to editors:

The award categories are broken down as follows:

Apprentice Awards

• Young Apprentice of the Year (14–16)
• Apprentice of the Year (16+)
• Making a difference
• Against All Odds

Employer Awards

• Changing the Face of Leeds
• Outstanding Contribution
• Employer of the Year
• Small (1 – 49 employees)
• Medium (50 – 249 employees)
• Large (250+ employees)

Ambassador Awards
• School / Academy Apprenticeship Champion
• Learning Provider of the Year

Also the Winner(s) of the Build My Leeds; Build My Future Competition will be announced.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450