In November 2020, to mark World Children’s Day, Liverpool Law School hosted the Shaping Liverpool as a Child Friendly City: Research Showcase Event. The event saw researchers from the University of Liverpool and across Cheshire & Merseyside, for an opportunity to present research that could inform efforts to transform Liverpool into a Child Friendly City. https://liverpool.gov.uk/children-and-families/unicef-child-friendly-city-programme/
We are now at the Development Stage in Liverpool’s journey to becoming a Child Friendly City and have seen a raft of engagement and participation activities citywide. The ideas, creativity and enthusiasm from our children and young people has been amazing, and their shared personal life experiences have highlighted areas which fundamentally need to change.
The Child Friendly City priorities that young people have chosen include:
Children have good physical and mental health, are supported if they have additional needs and know how to stay healthy.
All children and young people (regardless of background, culture, ability, or anything else) feel welcome in the city. They all have the same opportunities to grow, learn, explore and have fun while being protected from discrimination.
All children and young people can move freely and safely in public spaces, feeling connected to the city and their community.
We remain firmly committed to Child-Friendly City principles and have resumed the action planning priorities since being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Young people and partners were ready to begin the action planning when lockdown started in March 2020. It has been a very worrying and challenging time and children and young people have been hugely impacted by the pandemic and its consequences are likely to be felt for a considerable time.
Therefore, the focus was quickly switched to enable young people to discuss the pandemic and express their views and concerns through online question and answer sessions directly with city leaders. This proved to be an effective forum and resulted in children and young people’s views and ideas helping to shape the services provided to them during the lockdown and for the recovery phase plans for the city.
A session that was held in September enabled young people to discuss their experiences of returning to school with a panel involving the new Director of Education and the Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills.
Action has resumed in the planning priorities which include; a citywide Action Planning Survey for Children and Young people, launched on World Children’s Day and Remote Participation activity packs distributed to citywide groups to capture the views of underrepresented and disadvantaged children and young people. Having consulted widely we are clear upon the changes and actions that children and young people want to see.
In March 2021, the CFC Programme team was been joined by a dedicated Youth Engagement Coordinator to refresh the CFC Youth Group and connect CFC principles to Liverpool Schools Parliament.
Multi-agency partners represented on the CFC Governance Group are preparing the CFC Action Planning. The University of Liverpool held a virtual Child Friendly City Pledge Event in May to share their experience of mapping university assets and resources in support of children and young people.
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