Friday, 28 February 2014

New Leeds members of national Youth Parliament announced

Picture caption: The new Leeds members and deputies of the UK youth parliament
The young people who will represent Leeds on the UK Youth Parliament were announced yesterday.

The successful candidates were announced at a special event at Leeds Civic Hall, which was attended by elected members, Leeds Youth Council, youth services, schools and family and friends of the candidates.

The three new members of youth parliament were announced as:
Shamim Miah, 16, Notre Dame Catholic College
Minhazul Abedin, 15, Prince Henry Grammar School
Nicole Sabau, 17, Notre Dame Catholic College

And the two deputy members of youth parliament are:
Ciaran Morrison, 17, Notre Dame Catholic College
Prosper Adam, 17, Notre Dame Catholic College.

The successful candidates will now regularly meet with MPs and local councillors, organise events, run campaigns, make speeches, hold debates and ensure the views of young people are listened to by decision makers.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, said: “Being a member of the Youth Parliament is a great opportunity both in terms of representing the views of the children and young people of Leeds nationally, as well as offering a chance for each young person to develop the essential skills for a successful future.

“In Leeds we have set ourselves the ambition to be a child friendly city, and a key part of this is giving the children and young people of our city a voice. The new Youth Parliament members and deputies will become the voice of the young people of Leeds on a national scale – what a fantastic opportunity! I’m sure they will face any challenges head on and be great representatives of the city of Leeds.”

The new MYPs will need to find out the concerns and needs of other young people in their constituency, and represent these views to decision makers on a local, regional and national level. Becoming a MYP would mean having regular meetings at the House of Commons and in the constituency.

Each MYP’s experience is likely to be different from the next, but it provides an opportunity to develop a combination of the following skills:
• Communication
• Public speaking
• Greater knowledge of politics and current affairs
• The ability to look at an issue from someone else's perspective
• Debating
• Teamwork
• Leadership
• Organisational
• Negotiation

The UK Youth Parliament is run by young people for young people, and provides opportunities for young people aged 11-18 years old to use their voice in creative ways to bring about social change. Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) are elected in every part of the UK and represent the views of the young people in their constituency. Any young person who is a resident of the UK, and aged between 11 and 18 years old has the right to stand for election as an MYP and the right to vote for their MYP.

The runners up in this year’s election were:
Max Behrens, 15, Prince Henry Grammar School
Sam Slater, 13, Grammar school at Leeds (GSAL)
Denise Benneh, 13, Abbey Grange high school
John Wadsworth, 16,Pudsey Grangefield High School
Thea Smith, 16, Allerton High School

For more information about UKYP please visit the following website

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

Portraits of inspiring Yorkshire women and girls showcased in Westminster

An exhibition celebrating enterprising women and girls from Yorkshire, is heading down to London this week to be displayed in the Houses of Parliament.

An exhibition of photographs and stories of the enterprising girls and women who have participated in the Connecting Enterprising Women and Girls programme is being displayed at Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster from 28 February - 24 March 2014 to celebrate International Women's Day.

The exhibition features 100 portraits by photographers Nick Gregan and Johanna Hilton, accompanied by extracts from the individual stories of the girls' and women's journeys through life.

Included in the exhibition are portraits of six female Yorkshire MPs, Baroness Margaret Eaton, three University of Leeds academics, women entrepreneurs and girls from Leeds East Academy, David Young Community Academy and John Smeaton Community College.

The exhibition will return to Leeds to be exhibited at The Enterprise Foundation, Headingley from the 26 March until the 3 April, as a culmination of Leeds’ month-long celebrations to mark International Women’s Day.

On Tuesday 4 March 75 girls and women from the programme will travel to the Houses of Parliament to see the exhibition, meet MPs and attend the annual International Women's Day lecture.

The Connecting Girls programme was initially piloted with Leeds East Academy over an eighteen month period, as a partnership between Leeds City Council and a not-for-profit organisation, Connecting Enterprising Women (CEW) The programme has now been extended to the two other academies in the Seacroft/Manston cluster, the John Smeaton Community College and the David Young Community Academy.

The programme addresses a gap with regards to girls from local communities having opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills whilst still in education. The pilot programme delivered a number of events to mark last year’s International Women’s Day, National Women’s Day, and in establishing an annual conference, planned by the girls themselves, which was held last November.

Ruth Dass, Director of CEW and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, said:
“Connecting Enterprising Women and Girls is very proud of what the programme has so far achieved. It is delighted to have been part of Parliament Week and is now looking forward to seeing the portraits exhibition on display at the Palace of Westminster to mark International Women’s Day and also delivering the future series of events and activities for Leeds schools and citizens, in partnership with Leeds City Council.”

Leeds City Council, is a key supporter of the Connecting Enterprising Women and Girls programme, and is organising a celebration event to take place on Friday 4 April to mark International Women’s Day 2014 which will coincide with the return to Leeds of the photographic exhibition.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children’s services at Leeds City Council said:
“This exhibition is a fantastic celebration of what girls and women can achieve. By exhibiting these portraits at the heart of Government we can demonstrate the strength and passion to success which drives many Yorkshire women.

“By opening up opportunities to develop their entrepreneurial skills whilst still at school, the young women involved with the Connecting Girls project will be able to realise their own potential and secure a successful future in their chosen careers.”

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council said:
“Connecting Enterprising Women does some amazing work with women and girls across the city and we are only too happy to be supporting them with the Connecting Girls programme.

“These young people are the future of our city and it is only through programmes like this which help raise aspiration and attainment that Leeds will continue to thrive and succeed.

“Being part of this exhibition is a fantastic opportunity for the young students from east Leeds, and to be displayed alongside some of Yorkshire’s most inspiring women is a testament to the dedication they have shown as part of the Connecting Girls project.”

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

Ben Jones
Press Officer | Communications | University of Leeds
T: +44 (0)113 34 38059

Gay and Lesbian people invited to discover more about fostering and adoption

People who are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender (LGBT) are being invited to find out more about fostering or adopting a child through Leeds City Council.

Leeds City Council is holding its third annual adoption and fostering information week Monday 3 March to Sunday 9 March 2014 for LGBT potential adopters and foster carers. This coincides with a national campaign organised by New Family Social.

Information stalls and activities are planned throughout the week, and will allow people to come along and talk to friendly professional staff to find out more about adoption and fostering, the assessment process, what types of children the council is currently looking for homes for and what requirements are needed.

On Friday 28 Feb and Saturday 1 March there will be adoption and fostering information stalls at the White Rose Centre Leeds.

On Tuesday 4 March, 6.30pm – 9pm the council is holding an adoption and fostering information evening for prospective LGBT adoptive parents and foster carers, The Village Hotel, 186 Otley Rd, Headingley, LS16 5PR.

Councillor Judith Blake Leeds City Council executive member for children’s services said:
“Our ambition is for Leeds to be child friendly; the best city to study, work, play and grow up in.

“Adoption and foster carers perform a vital role in fulfilling this vision and we have one of the most established and successful adoption and foster care services in the UK.

“Adoption and fostering is exciting, challenging and life changing experience for everyone involved. We are here with you every step of the way and are here to help you.

“Please join us in our work to change children and young people’s lives and make Leeds really be a child friendly city.”

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer or adopter; people can be single married, divorced, employed, unemployed, with or without children of their own. Leeds City Council welcomes people from diverse backgrounds and ethnic origins that can help children live and share their own culture, language, religion and live a happy fulfilled life.

Leeds City Council has approved five LGBT households for adoption and matched eight children with LGBT adopters since April 2013, and is currently assessing another six households.

For more information and to read the experiences of people who already adopt and foster for Leeds City Council visit: and

To find out more about New Family Social visit:

For more information about national events visit:

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

Home Farm welcomes its smallest ever lamb

Caption: This month saw the arrival of Home Farm's smallest every lamb.

A popular Leeds farm has welcomed its tiniest ever lamb to its numbers this month.

Arriving at a birth weight of just three-and-a-half pounds, the little Manx Loaghtan ewe lamb who is yet to be named, will now join her mother Izzy as one of just six rare Manx Loaghtan sheep at Home Farm.

With approximately 150 lambs expected to be born between January and May of this year, Home Farm staff are guaranteed to be kept very busy over the upcoming weeks and months.

Boasting over 400 sheep, pigs, poultry and goats, along with an interesting mixture of recreated workshops and exhibitions, Home Farm continues to be a great place for the all the family to enjoy.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment said:

"The fantastic staff at Home Farm are always kept busy by the arrival of around 150 lambs each year, and it is brilliant to welcome the smallest ever addition to our numbers this month.

"Home Farm is a lovely place for all the family to visit and we look forward to welcoming both old and new friends, as they enjoy the 400 plus animals on show and other great attractions on offer."

Notes to editors:

Home Farm offers the opportunity to explore life on a real working farm and meet some extraordinary characters. Over 400 sheep, cattle, pigs, poultry and goats are at Temple Newsam, and there is also the chance to enjoy traditional crafts or take part in demonstrations such as butter making and blacksmithing!

Explore the cobbled yards to discover an interesting mixture of recreated workshops, exhibitions and rare breed livestock, all in the original buildings, including the historical Great Barn.

Home Farm is open 10am until 4pm (winter hours) Tuesday to Sunday inclusive. Last entry is 45 minutes before closing.

For media enquiries, please contact;

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