Coventry joins growing ranks of ‘child friendly cities’
Giving young people a voice is the priority for local leaders in Coventry, as it becomes the latest UK city to declare itself a ‘child friendly zone’.
Children and young people from schools across the city have been meeting with representatives from both the council and business community to celebrate the launch of the city’s latest project.
Child Friendly Cov is being led by Coventry City Council, and is campaign to ensure that this Midlands city, which has a population of around 345,000, is not only the best place in the UK for all children and young people to live and grow up in, but also somewhere they feel valued, supported and enjoy themselves.
City leaders have laid out four key pledges which underpin the project, and which recognise that local youngsters should always: be and feel safe; have opportunities, be and feel healthy, and be and feel valued.
Organisations from across the city, which is the 10th biggest in the UK by population, were at the launch, and committed themselves to working together. There were also presentations from representatives from organisations like the Positive Youth Foundation – a charity which supports 8-25 year-olds – about the work already taking place locally to educate and empower young people. A popular local spoken word poet and rapper, John Bernard, also lent his support to the event.
‘It’s very important we listen to what our children have to say’
Councillor Patricia Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “It is so important that our younger citizens feel valued and that they have a voice, not just at home and school, but around the city. Child Friendly Cov will be a constant reminder that they should be right at the heart of our work and our plans for the future. We have already started working with them, and with our partners in a range of services, to learn what they would want Child Friendly Cov to look like. They even helped us design the logo.”
John Gregg, Director of Children’s Services, said: “It is very important for us as a council that we listen to what our children and young people have to say and make sure they feel involved and valued, and we want other organisations across the city to share that approach.
“This campaign will make it clear to everyone that Coventry is a city where young people matter and are listened to, and we hope it will inspire others to be a part of that, and inspire young people to get involved in city life.”