Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Young people to make their voices heard on culture, sport and recreation

A Leeds City Council watchdog has called upon a group of young people to help them decide how best to involve them in making decisions on the future of sport, culture and recreation services across the city.

To make sure children and young people from across the city are more involved in developing, designing, and improving leisure services in Leeds, a group of youngsters have been invited to talk about their experiences in being involved in past and ongoing projects.

The youngsters will be talking to members of the council’s scrutiny board for sustainable economy and culture, tomorrow (Thursday 23 February), to help them plan for how young people can be best involved in future projects.

Two pupils, aged 8 and 10, from Colton Primary School will be the youngest members of the delegation, who will talk to the members of the scrutiny board about the part they played to help design a new playground for children with disabilities, at Temple Newsam. They will be joined by teenagers from the Breeze Sports Academy - an alternative curriculum programme, which gives young people the opportunity to work towards sports related vocational qualifications and supports them into further training and employment.

Also attending the meeting will be an active voluntary member of the Leeds Disability Sport Youth Panel who will discuss her part in the ‘Inspire Mark’ project which allows young people the chance to develop and shape disability sport in the city. A perspective on young people’s access to the arts will be presented by two young people from LS Live (an online podcast network created by young people), who have received training and notched up two years experience as reporters covering events in Leeds including, Light Night, Breeze on Tour and Party in the Park.

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, chair of the Scrutiny Board, sustainable economy and culture, said:
“We have invited these young people to attend our meeting so we can hear first hand their experiences of being involved with ongoing projects, and their thoughts on existing services in the city.

“As a council we have an aim, not only to be the best city, but to specifically be a child friendly city, and the only way we can do this is by listening to and learning from the children and young people who live here.

“By hearing how we already engage with young people will help us learn and develop a plan to make sure we involve them in all future projects which will impact on children and young people right from the start.”

The board will also be considering a new vision for the future of Breeze – the council’s brand for all out of school activity for young people in the city. They will look at proposals to reorganise the staffing and funding of Breeze, including sponsorship opportunities, to help improve and expand the already popular provision.

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