Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Leeds hosts experts in improving life chances for children

Leading experts are coming to Leeds to explain the best ways to make sure families can use the earliest part of children’s lives to make a positive impact, as well as preventing abuse, anti-social behaviour and violence.

At a conference being held at Leeds City Museum on Wednesday 2nd October, those who work with children and families are being invited to hear from nationally recognised experts about the latest research and best practice. They will also have a chance to link up with others working in the field to deliver the best for children in the Leeds.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing said:

“Giving children the best start in life is a top commitment for Leeds City Council, and we know helping families in pregnancy and the first years of life will give them a much better start.

“We are absolutely committed to being at the forefront of good practice, making sure that Leeds is not only a child friendly city, but offers the best possible start for young people’s life, opening the door to better opportunities for them throughout their lives.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Deputy Leader and Executive Board Member for Children’s Services said:

“We have much to be proud of in Leeds. But we know that there is always more we can do and we are determined to invest in better outcomes for children and young people. At a time when we face significant financial challenges, it is vital to build on our current work and make sure we understand the best ways to deliver services effectively and offer families the support and guidance they need to make the most of their lives. It is not only the right thing to do, but if we make the best use of expert advice and best practice, it will make financial sense too.”

John Carnochan, a former Detective Chief Superintendent with Strathclyde Police who co-founded the Violence Reduction Unit in Scotland is one of the conference’s key speakers. He recently joined a team at St Andrews University, leading research into violence reduction and prevention strategies. He said:

“The most effective, efficient and sustainable prevention strategy is of prime importance, recognising the early years in a child’s life as being crucial to their future wellbeing, health and resilience; I believe that the most important years of a child’s life are up to age three.”

Leeds City Council has made a commitment to working to bring everyone together to make Leeds a child friendly city – a place where children are valued, supported, enjoy growing up, and look forward to a bright future.

Details of services and advice available are accessible through the children, families and carers section of the council website.

Notes to editors

The Best Start conference is taking place on Wednesday 2nd October 2013, 9.30 am to 3.30 pm, at Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds. It will be chaired by Councillors Lisa Mulherin and Judith Blake.

Featuring leading UK experts in infant neurodevelopment, attachment, early intervention and violence reduction, it will show why pregnancy and the first three years of life are the most critical and cost effective time to support families to prevent maltreatment, abuse, antisocial and violent behaviours.

Speakers include:

Sue Ranger, Consultant Clinical, Psychologist in Infant Mental Health. Sue Ranger has 25 years’ experience in the NHS working with infants, children and families, and since April 2012 has managed the new Infant Mental Health Service in Leeds.

Sarah Stewart-Brown, Chair of Public Health Medical School, University of Warwick - Sarah worked as a paediatrician and in Public Health before taking up a role in academia. Her research has been influential in the development of the national Healthy Child Programme, and current parenting support policy.

John Carnochan, former Detective Chief Superintendent with Strathclyde Police, co-founded the Violence Reduction Unit in Scotland. He recently joined the Public Health Medicine Team at St Andrews University, leading research into violence reduction and prevention strategies.

George Hoskings, Founder, Chief Executive and Research Coordinator of the WAVE Trust George is dedicated to ending violence by tackling its root causes: child abuse and neglect. As an economist, accountant, psychologist, criminologist, and traumatic stress counsellor he will present a compelling analysis of the importance of early intervention in pregnancy and within the first three years of life.

Robin Balbernie, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and Clinical Director PIP (Parent Infant Partnerships) UK. For over a decade Robin worked with the Children’s Centres in Gloucestershire as clinical lead providing an infant mental health service, known locally as Secure Start. He is currently advisor to the Association of Infant Mental Health UK.

For interview requests or further information, contact:

Phil Morcom
Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council

e-mail: philip.morcom@leeds.gov.uk
Tel: 0772 227 5370
Fax: 0113 247 4736

Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335

Countdown to Light Night begins

Caption: Over 30 venues across the city centre will host events as part of Light Night.

The countdown to one of Leeds premier cultural events is now in its final week, as the city readies itself for the arrival of Light Night 2013.

In what will be a night of fun and entertainment, over 30 venues in the city centre will open their doors, as they host over 50 unique events this Friday (4) from 5pm until late.

Visitors will have the chance to enjoy a wide range and vibrant mix of events, as the city centre is split into seven key areas: Millennium Square, Leeds Town Hall, Victoria Gardens, Headrow, Briggate and Boar Lane, Quarry Hill and the University of Leeds.

Included on the night will be street theatre, light installations, performances and music, and storytelling as part of Light Night, which will be held in museums, galleries, theatres, and open space.

Events include a spectacular light installation "Momentous" by international artist group Illuminos, who will transform one of the city’s iconic buildings Leeds Civic Hall into a giant traditional clock that celebrates the work of renowned Leeds Clockmaker William Potts.

Other highlights in the programme include, Phase Revival: An Optical Harmonica an amazing light installation at Leeds City Museum, fusing art and science accompanied by a mathematically devised musical score; the Narnia Experience Taster produced by Left Bank Leeds and performed in Trinity Shopping Centre, along with a special opportunity to visit Mr Tumnus’ and his friends in a prelude to the performance of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in November.

There will also be the chance to see The Sea Interludes at the Howard Assembly Rooms, a short film with images of boats on the northern seas and accompanied by the powerful music of Benjamin Britten and produced by Opera North, whilst Leeds Town Hall will provide visitors with the opportunity to take a look at the Victorian prison cells in the building.

Organised by Leeds City Council’s arts development team in partnership with organisations and individual across the city, this Friday’s Light Night is a fantastic evening for people of all ages, and especially families to enjoy.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"The programme for this year’s Light Night is again superb, and I can’t wait to see some of our city centre’s most recognised buildings and open spaces hosting a wide-range of unique events.

"There really is something for people of all ages to enjoy, with the centrepiece event being the spectacular transformation of Leeds Civic Hall into a giant traditional clock as part of ‘Momentous’ from Thursday for three nights.

"I would recommend to anyone wishing to take part in Light Night to look at the programme before hand and plan their route around the city centre so they don’t miss out on any of the great performances which are on offer."

Notes to editors:
A full programme of all the events is available at www.lightnightleeds.co.uk. All events are free, but some require booking, details are on the website along with information on transport.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk