A Child Friendly Community is one where children’s rights and voices are respected and where many more people and organisations support children and young people to be safe, healthy, happy, and thriving.
The three to five-year programme aims to listen to children and young people in Lambeth, giving them an opportunity to influence decision-making while increasing awareness of children’s rights in the borough.
Child Friendly Lambeth will be a partnership between Lambeth Council, UNICEF UK and other organisations and people who want to support children and young people including schools, the NHS, emergency services, businesses, and voluntary and community organisations.
In the coming six months the council will be asking children, young people, local communities, services, individuals, and businesses what their priorities are.
Lambeth councillors and council officers will be engaging with local people in their communities to discuss what a Child Friendly Lambeth would look like to them. Some of Lambeth’s children and young people have made a video to explain more about the programme, which you can view here.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Ed Davie, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: “With excellent children’s centres, libraries, schools, parks and leisure centres Lambeth is already a great place for many children and young people to grow up. However, we know that we have challenges with child poverty, violence against young people and air pollution and we want all our children to have the best start in life. To help us realise that ambition we are really excited to be a part of the Child Friendly Cities and Communities Programme in partnership with UNICEF UK.
“This programme is another step in making sure that children and young people in Lambeth can thrive, with their rights at the centre of it all. It also marks a commitment from the borough to deliver actions which children and young people have a say. It fits brilliantly in our overall strategy for Children’s Services, where we have a variety of successes, but want to continue doing more to make sure young people and children in the borough know their rights, feel heard and can influence their future.
“We welcome everyone to get in contact with us and come to the events we will be holding around the borough to share their thoughts, comments and questions. We are really looking forward to taking the programme further and influencing the lives of young people in Lambeth for the better.”
Serena Cobbinah, from the Lambeth Youth Council, said: “Lambeth becoming a Child friendly borough is important because of Lambeth’s large young population. As young people who are so close to the heart of London, we’re an important part of the future and our needs should be respected and prioritised so the next generation can thrive as much as possible.”
Naomi Danquah, Director of Child Friendly Cities and Communities at the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Lambeth to UNICEF UK Child Friendly Cities and Communities programme.
“In joining the programme, Lambeth has made a bold commitment to doing things differently for its youngest residents: using children’s rights to guide all its work with and for children and young people.
“We’re excited to get started and see children’s rights brought to life in Lambeth as it works towards recognition as a UNICEF UK Child Friendly Community.”
About Child Friendly Cities & Communities
Child Friendly Cities & Communities is a UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) programme that works with councils to put children’s rights into practice.
The programme aims to create cities and communities in the UK where all children – whether they are living in care, using a children’s centre, or simply visiting their local library – have a meaningful say in, and truly benefit from, the local decisions, services and spaces that shape their lives.
The programme is part of Child Friendly Cities – a global UNICEF initiative launched in 1996 that reaches more than 30 million children in over 40 countries.
In the UK, UNICEF UK provide training based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and support councils, their partners, and children and young people, as they work together on an ambitious three-to-five-year journey towards international recognition as a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City or Community.